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Report by Rogelio A Lee Jr

In celebration of the Xavier Ateneo Mission and Ministry Week 2019, the Office of Mission and Ministry and the Office of the Vice-President for Higher Education organized for the first time a conference on mental health among faculty and formators, held at the XU Little Theater on September 4.

The said event was in coordination with the XU Psychology Department and the Guidance and Counseling Office (GCO), as one of the highlights of the MM Week 2019 with the theme, “Caring for the Youth towards Wellness.”

Three experts in the field of mental health served as resource persons for the conference.

Clinical psychologist Dr Joey Marie Jegonia discussed the Mental Health Act (RA 11036) and its implementing rules and regulations. She also shared with the faculty and formators how to improve mental health at work.

Dr Jose Coruña Jr, a psychiatrist, enlightened the audience about depression and suicide that are prevalent among young students.

The third speaker, resident Cagayan de Or City psychologist Jaymee Leonen from the Psychosocial Division of the City Social Welfare and Development Office, inspired the audience by sharing what the local government of CDO is currently doing to respond appropriately to the mental health concerns in various communities. Leonen also encouraged everyone to support and join the advocacy of mental health wellness.

One significant part of the conference was the small group sharing where the faculty and formators discussed their views about mental health and what they can do to help create a healthier working and learning environment.

The sessions were facilitated by the psychology faculty members headed by Jhoanna Marie Mocorro, together with the counselors from the GCO led by Dr Charito Ferrer as well as the campus ministers.

On behalf of the university president, VP for mission and ministry Irene Grace Guitarte expressed her gratitude for this opportunity to discuss mental health.

"The topics will equip us and make us appreciate our sacred roles as we accompany our students who are faced with so many concerns, to a better, healthier, and less complicated day to day affairs," she said.

The conference concluded with closing remarks from VP for higher education Dr Juliet Dalagan. She told the faculty and formators to "take care of themselves and to be gentle in dealing with their students who come from various background and experiences."

Dalagan also called on everyone to "be conscious of making Xavier Ateneo a healthier university."∎  

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