December 1, 2023

Thanks to the Internet, this near-sighted Ibaloy writer learned that it was the Roman poet Juvenal who wrote, “You should pray for a healthy mind in a healthy body”.
Wise words, indeed. Correct me if I’m wrong but while going to a doctor for physical ailments is seen as normal, going to a psychiatrist or psychologist for mental issues seems to raise a lot of eyebrows especially in our beautiful archipelago.
Unlike in more industrialized nations like the United States where seeking help from a mental health expert is no big deal, in our poor country of greedy political dynasties, however, going to a mental health professional automatically makes most people think that you are“crazy” and are ostracized. Again, I could be wrong in my observation.
It is with this in mind (pardon the pun) that I fully agree with Baguio City Vice Mayor Faustino Olowan who declared that “It’s about time that we address mental health using a holistic approach.
Aside from merely treating its symptoms and treating suicide as isolated issues, we have to consider people’s overall well-being by promoting mental, emotional, physical and social health.”
He also said that efforts must be doubled in raising awareness and educating people about mental health where one crucial step in the city’s information and education campaign is to destigmatize mental health that would create a more inclusive and supportive society since stigma prevents people from seeking treatment and also fosters discrimination.
Amen to that. Here’s hoping that our society finally realizes that mental health issues are real; that we all get together in finding solutions to the problem; and, more importantly, not to ostracize those suffering from mental health problems who could be members of our families or even ourselves. Let us erase the stigma that seems to be attached to mental health. Let us show love, caring and understanding instead.

Meanwhile, Mayor Benjamin Magalong signed city council Resolution 291, s. 2023, congratulating and commending Islay ErikaBomogao for being the first Filipino
female Muaythai World Champion during the 2023 International Federation of Muaythai Associations Senior World Championship in Bangkok, Thailand on May 3 to 13.
Her proud father is Baguio Councilor Benny Bomogao.
May our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ continue to bless and keep us all safe.