Chronic distress is as bad as cancer

Published January 29, 2021, 7:20 PM

by MB Lifestyle

MindYou partners with Ayala’s HealthNow App in unprecedented move to provide mental healthcare access to all Filipinos

The landscape of mental healthcare in the Philippines is rapidly changing, and thankfully so. In no small part is this due to the union of MindYou’s mental health services and Ayala Corporation’s (AC) HealthNow App. Now more than ever, every Filipino deserves the tools and infrastructure necessary to look after their mental health. This burgeoning partnership represents a much-needed turn in Philippine healthcare, as MindYou’s topnotch tele-health counseling will now be easier than ever to access. 

Yuri Marshall, MindYou’s CEO, states, “MindYou and HealthNow’s partnership solidifies our common commitment to provide Filipinos across the entire Philippines with easy-access to online tele-healthcare, including mental health counseling.” 

AC’s HealthNow “delivers a hassle free experience by providing patients with the healthcare services that they need. Available in Google Play for Android and the App Store for iOS, anyone can register using their mobile phone number, email address, or even their Facebook account,” according to Globe. 

Today, HealthNow users aren’t only able to access prescriptions, online consultations, and laboratory appointments from the safety of home. They are also able to speak with licensed psychologists to better deal with the depression, anxiety, and burnout that have become all too common as a result of the pandemic. “We are excited to launch this partnership with MindYou, as we both strive to allow every Filipino easy access to primary care and holistic wellbeing, particularly mental health,” says Beia Latay, CEO of HealthNow.

Marshall opens up about MindYou’s attitude of hope and excitement toward this partnership. “MindYou is excited to be working with passionate individuals and organizations who care for the well-being of our kababayans,” he says. “By supporting the nation’s wellbeing as a whole, we can boost the economic productivity of our country and forge a prosperous future that will inspire growth. We are also committed to protecting the privacy and confidentiality of our users so that they have a safe space to seek world class mental health services. This is extremely important because we acknowledge the need for a person to feel safe. To be vulnerable. It’s ok to not be ok.”

‘Just book one session and give it a try. I urge everyone to put your mental health first. People seek medical attention when it comes to their physical health, but often ignore their stress levels, feelings of anxiety, and sometimes depressive states.’

It is truly okay to not be okay, and MindYou and HealthNow joining forces could not come at a better time. Stricken on all levels—economically, environmentally, emotionally, and physically—by the COVID-19 pandemic, the mental health of Filipinos is perhaps in the most perilous state it has ever seen. The World Health Organization states that over six million Filipinos suffered from anxiety and depression in 2017, and it is not unreasonable to predict that these numbers have doubled or tripled in 2020. 

In response to these concerning statistics, Marshall shares, “Just book one session and give it a try. I urge everyone to put your mental health first. People seek medical attention when it comes to their physical health, but often ignore their stress levels, feelings of anxiety, and sometimes depressive states. If you put your mental health first, it can often alleviate most of life’s pressures and re-align your body in a positive direction.”

It may seem to many that economic assistance far outweighs providing mental healthcare access to the Filipino people. Certainly, many aspects of our cultural narrative fosters this type of thinking. A wealth of data, however, has shown that economic and mental wellbeing in individuals is tightly linked. In fact, the WHO states that for every $1 invested into treatment for common mental health issues, there is a $4 return on health and productivity.

MindYou has taken bold steps to rise up to the challenge of providing mental health care to millions of Filipinos in the pandemic. In a country where, according to the WHO, only three to five percent of the total health budget is allocated to mental healthcare (with 70 percent of this going toward hospital care), counseling services that can greatly improve the lives of individuals are in astonishingly short supply. 

In the wake of the astonishing crisis brought about not only by the pandemic but by worldwide political instability and the harrowing effects of climate change on archipelagic nations like the Philippines, MindYou has boldly stepped forward: This organization aims to provide every Filipino with the psychological support necessary to face some of the biggest challenges the entire world has ever seen, and their partnership with Ayala Corp’s HealthNow could not be a better step in the right direction.