‘It’s not just in your mind’


One of the biggest challenges brought about by the pandemic is dealing with our mental health.

So many of us are struggling with pain and some are debilitated by it. It’s not really something that we can overcome with prayer and/or fortitude. In this case, the struggle is real. And living in such close quarters with family members, not all of whom understand the struggles we go through, makes it even more difficult.

Makeup and skin-care brand BYS Philippines, which has always supported mental health initiatives, is marking its ninth anniversary in the country by launching a digital platform dedicated to help Filipinos gain access to a directory of mental health professionals and other resources they can connect with.

“BYS, for those who don’t know, stands for Be Yourself. But it’s really hard to be yourself if and when you don’t love yourself, or when your current self is going through something extremely difficult. It’s hard if you can’t break the stigma of acknowledging your internal pain and seeking help, and most importantly judging ourselves and others for not having a perfect mental health state,” said Angie Goyena, president of iFace Inc.

Break Your Stigma (www.breakyourstigma.com) is a digital platform that, beyond providing a directory of mental health professionals, hopes to get rid of the shame in acknowledging that someone is suffering from a mental health problem.

The brand has sought help from different partners—the Mindfulness, Love and Compassion Institute for Psychosocial Services Inc. led by Dr. Honey Carandang, licensed psychologist Gisa Paredes of Healing Minds, and the creative team of Where To Next—for its mental health initiative.

“We should normalize talking about mental health the way we talk about skin care. It’s okay for your skin and your mental health to not be perfect—and to seek help for both. It’s as perfectly acceptable to have a psychiatrist as it is to have a dermatologist. If you don’t feel guilty when your skin or makeup isn’t flawless, you shouldn’t feel guilty when your mental health isn’t either,” said Goyena.

“Seeking help is a sign of strength,” said Dr. Honey Carandang. “The pandemic has resulted in a lot of hopelessness and helplessness. It is important to face your emotions and not put them at the back of your mind. Be honest and put your emotions in front of you.”

The pandemic, said Carandang, did not likely cause these feelings of hopelessness and helplessness but it triggered them.

Goyena said BYS Philippines is working on raising funds for sponsorships for patients who have no money to pay the professional fees of doctors. They will also negotiate with doctors for discounts on their fees.  Goyena likened having a mental health problem and our capacity to take care of others to being on a plane with a child. When passengers on a plane need that oxygen mask during an emergency, adults are advised to put on the mask first before helping the child they are with, meaning we need to help ourselves before we can help others.

Psychologist Gisa Paredes said it is important to take breaks during times when you feel your energy is eroded. Lastly, she reminds people: It’s not just in your mind.

Meanwhile, to bid Miss Universe Philippines 2021 Beatrice Gomez goodbye for the 70th Miss Universe pageant in Israel this December, e-commerce platform Lazada is hosting a special send-off for her.

Ahead of Gomez’s appearance at the 11.11 Super Show, fans and shoppers can start showing their support for the beauty queen in the main competition through three special send-off activities. Help Gomez pack for Israel by voting what Self-care Package she should bring along, send her your most inspiring artwork or share a personal goodbye message, all through Lazada’s social-media pages from November 3-20. For more details on Lazada’s Phenomenal Send-off available, visit lzd.co/PhenomenalSendOff.

Gomez, along with K-pop group Seventeen, Lazada Happiness Ambassadors, local brand ambassadors Bea Alonzo, Alden Richards, Maine Mendoza, Mimiyuuuh and SB19, are featured in Lazada’s biggest signature Super Show on November 11, which kicks off the 11.11 Biggest One-Day Shopping Festival.

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