by Francis Ryan B. Pabiania | News Writer
Two Sillimanians participated in the Southeast Asian Service Leadership Network (SEALNet) “Project Philippines 2018: Mental Health Awareness 2018” held in Cebu City from July 22 to Aug. 2.
The SEALNet project included activities, seminars, and training aimed to develop leadership, project management and events organizing skills among the youth. The project focused on mental health awareness as its main advocacy.
Christian Futalan, first year M.A. Psychology student, and Isabella Angan, senior mass communication student, joined the SEALNet project as mentor and mentee, respectively.
Angan said mentees were tasked to organize and facilitate a community service project in Barangay San Nicolas Proper where they applied what they have learned throughout the training.
Mentees of SEALNet project, with the cooperation of Barangay San Nicolas Proper’s Sangguniang Kabataan Council, invited locals last July 31 to the “Pagpakabana sa atong Hunahuna: Pakighinabi bahin sa Mental Health,” the culminating leadership project of mentees.
Angan said, “My SEALNet experience really helped me grow as a leader, and I am so excited (to share it) with Silliman University,” said Angan.
Meanwhile, Futalan, who applied as a mentor, said promoting mental health awareness during the project was a “really hard issue” to address, because of the misconceptions that Filipinos have on mental health issues.
“We should push for mental health awareness because a lot of people, especially in smaller barangays and remote areas, aren’t really educated about mental health issues,” he added.
Futulan joined the SEALNet Youth Leadership Summit in Thailand last 2017.
“In that [summit], delegates pitched ideas and advocacies to get a chance to organize projects of SEALNet. This was where Project Philippines 2018: Mental Health Awareness was created,” he added.
SEALNet is a non-profit organization based in San Francisco, U.S., dedicated to service leadership and working with Southeast Asian communities around the world
by establishing and training communities of service leaders for social development.