(032) 482 - 9302 Poblacion, Boljoon, Cebu pmdsmamamary@gmail.com

In response to the pressing need for the preservation, protection, and promotion of mental health during these challenging times, a private school in Cebu has initiated a school-based and community-wide campaign for psycho-emotional wellbeing.

The Patronage of Mary Development School (PMDS), in Boljoon, Cebu, has been running a program for the mental health since the start of the community quarantines. During the lockdowns, weblearning conferences provided information and inspiration to teachers, students and parents.

School director Dr. Rouel Longinos stressed the moral obligation of the academe to support society in dealing with the contemporary crises. “Schools have a responsibility to help people survive in this troubling time. We need to take care of the youth by giving them the appropriate activities that understand their nature and respect their preferences,” he explained.

Lectures, workshops, exhibits, and a sports festival comprise the choices for the entire PMDS community. Gurus and coaches for the said programs, aptly called Mental Health Ambassadors, facilitated series of sessions that diagnosed the needs and provided avenues for dynamic, engaging and enjoyable learning.  Life coach and educator Dr. Maristela Remitar rationalized in her talk the effectiveness of the arts and sports combined with pedagogical diversity in delivering a mental health promotion campaign.

Choreographer Alven Jake Manubag for dance, Master Claudio Monceda for photography, visual artist Jestoni Septimo for painting, multi-awarded vocalist John Peterson Villarin for singing, and writer-researcher Gianne Rensen Verano Antonio for writing provided series of strategically-selected activities for the end goal of keeping the youth’s sanity and inspiring them to excel in their chosen art genre.  

In spite of limited capacity, deep social interactions in compliance with the standard health protocols are observed in PMDS. An open-door policy that allows for authentic communication among students has been institutionalized. Its Guidance Office and its Campus Ministry have aligned their initiatives to deal with struggling learners.

The PMDS Mental Wellness campaign started some four years ago pre-pandemic era and has been recently revived intensely due to the pervasive mental health issues these days due to COVID19. “We are proud that this crusade will operate permanently as one of our institutional best practices in being steadfast to our mission of providing education steered by compassion and happiness,” Longinos added.

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