Climate Change & Mental Health: A Call for Collaborative Action

The experience of disasters and on-going climate change greatly affects an indivudual’s social and mental wellbeing. This reality, as mentioned by the Department of Health, stresses the need to further enhance Mental Health and Psychosocial Services (MHPSS) in local and national programs and initiatives to assist in “humanitarian emergencies and disaster management.”
In response to this need, Balik Kalipay Center (BKC) for Psychosocial Response, Inc., together with the support from the Department of Health, De La Salle University, De La Salle – College of Saint Benilde and the Philippine Women University – Institute of Family Life & Children Studies, Inc., launched a conference on Climate Change Adaptation and Mental Health last March 22 to 23.

 

Representatives from a number of NGOs and foundations, members of the DOH, private service providers, people from the academe, disaster volunteers, and other professionals were there to learn and partake in the information sharing.

To help start off the day, we created a live visual summary of the first (and most technical) plenary session of the conference: The Science and Technology of Climate Change and Disasters. Before moving on to talking about how organizations could address climate change in the country and assist the communities, it was important that all partipants had a general grasp of climate change’s history, process, and effects on our resources.

 

Settling down: Some attendees at the Henry Sy Auditorium

 

On Geologic Risks: Claudine illustrating the first talk of the plenary

 

From Dr. Alyssa Alampay’s talk on geologic risks and the world’s current situation, and Dr. Wilfredo Licuanan’s talk on Philippine coastal and marine ecosystems, to Dr. Corazon Claudio’s talk on climate change adaptation, we took in and visualized key ideas, themes, and next steps in one whole visual summary that particpants could engage with and learn from at the end of the plenary.

The visual summary was then presented to BKC’s Director Dr. June Lopez and DOH Secretary Dr. Paulyn Jean Ubial as a surprise display token!

Judging by the enthusiasm that all participants had in that morning alone, we’re sure that plans to address the people’s mental health and build disaster resilience nationwide are already in the process of becoming a reality.

 

Our visual summary by the end of the plenary!

 

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