CHR stresses need for mental health, shares learnings on resiliency in times of pandemic

Published July 12, 2021, 1:09 PM

by Czarina Nicole Ong Ki


The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) recognizes the need to take care of one’s mental health as much as physical health during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Thus, the CHR decided to share what its officials and employees learned during a “Mental Health Webinar” with Majella Tumangan-Villaroma, an international health management strategist.

“While understandable, our reactions and behaviors can add significant distress and anxiety to our already stressful circumstances,” it said.

It pointed out it learned much from the webinar particularly on “what we do to better support ourselves during this difficult time.”

During the webinar, Tumangan-Villaroma told CHR officials and employees that building resiliency at this time is a “critical life skill” in dealing with the rapid and complex changes happening in one’s life, community, and society.

The CHR said that some people merely cope with life’s challenges.

But Tumangan-Villaroma explained that coping means people react, refuse, or resist (3Rs) when faced with unexpected changes. “These 3Rs take place because of uncertainty, disorientation, and fear of failing at something unknown,” she said.

She pointed out that resilience goes beyond coping. “It is the ability to adapt during crisis and stressful times in order to thrive and not just survive,” she said.

A resilient person adapts quickly in any situation and can change directions and bounce back from failures, she noted.

To become a resilient person, Tumangan-Villaroma said there are “3Cs” to take note of. The first “C” is a “commitment” to what one is doing — it is self-responsibility coupled with a family-aligned response, she said.

The next “C” is an enthusiasm for a “challenge,” which Tumangan-Villaroma said “means learning from both positive and negative experiences and embracing change instead of resisting it.”

Finally, she said “the third ‘C’ is a balanced sense of “control” and it simply means a healthy relationship with self, others, and the world.

She stressed during the webinar that self-resiliency entails managing one’s self through several self-management skills, and these include the ability to express one’s self, develop self-compassion and self-care, reach out to someone (including professionals) when stressed, and practice gratitude.