December 7, 2023

The mental well-being of parents and learners is critical especially during the pandemic when face-to-face classes are not allowed.
That is why the Department of Education-Benguet has launched an information campaign focusing on mental health.
“Siged ja abong,” which means “caring home,” and Project Sagana, an Iloko for ready, are information education campaign programs that aim to provide practical information and helpful tips for parents and learners’ well-being in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The IEC materials will be presented as video clips, which are uploaded by DepEd-Benguet on Facebook and YouTube.
Kenneth Kelcho, a member of the project team, said they are targeting to finish filming all the episodes in time for the opening of classes on Aug. 24.
Kelcho, also the youth formation coordinator of the Schools Division Office of Benguet-DepEd, said the video clips also guide parents on how they could care for their children during the pandemic. 
“This is to prepare the learners, for them to bring back their appetite for learning and education,” he said.
Siged ja Abong is an online mini-talkshow format, wherein a presenter from the DepEd-Benguet division office and invited experts, advocates, and fellows of mental health will talk about how to cope with the pandemic.
The videos are 10 to 15 minutes long, which has an initial six episodes launched last July 16 and targeted to run until September.
Currently available online are episode 1 – “On Parenting Skills: Reconnecting to your child in times of Covid-19” with Rolando Malafu, guidance counselor of Cordillera Regional Science High School and episode 2 – “Coping and Adapting to the ‘New Normal’: Spiritual aspects of parenting” with Pastor Henry Hakcholna Jr., associate pastor of KKM-LSFI Church.
Upcoming episodes are “Self-care for parents and caregivers” with Jeshanah Salda, guidance counselor of Benguet National High School-main campus; “Building resiliency among parents” with Christine Gina Camsol, executive manager of the Philippine Mental Health Association-Cordillera; “Creating a safe and positive home environment” with Carmen Moyaen, executive director of Child and Family Services Philippines, Inc.; and last episode, “Recognizing and stopping bullying” with Atty. Nover Singgangan, legal officer of Schools Division Office-Benguet.
Project Sagana is a three to five-minute video clips targeting learners, which is presented in Ibaloy, Kankana-ey, and Iloko. 
Topics for the initial IEC materials are: “Coping and adapting to the new normal”; “Pressure to treasure-turning stress to treasure by doing something valuable”; “Lock-in to lock-out: Stay at home activities that can be beneficial to the learners once they can go outside”; “Overcoming stress and anxiety in this time of pandemic”; “Mindfulness for teenage anxiety”; and “Learners sources of strength in time of Covid.”
Kelcho said the video clips will also be distributed to the different schools in the province, especially those without access to the Internet.
Also involved in the creation of the IEC materials are Joane Bumanghat, Gemma Basatan, Joven Agtani, Lizelle Lupante of the SDO Benguet Office with technical partner Sam de Guzman of the Grei Studios. Consultants for the project are Dr. Ryan Guinaran and Paul Joseph Nuval.
To view the materials, visit School Health Benguet on YouTube and the Facebook page, DepEd Tayo Benguet, where the newly launched video “Dagiti Saludsud ni Ambit” (The Questions of Ambit) can also be viewed. – Ofelia C. Empian