VIGAN CITY, Nov. 24 (PIA) - The University of Northern Philippines (UNP) in this city conducted a week-long Mental Health and Wellness Break, with the theme: "UNP goes UNP: Unwind, Nourish, and Pause," for its students and faculty on November 17-22.
"This activity aims to manage the mental, emotional, and physical well-being of both the faculty and students from the two-month online teaching and learning due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic," said UNP President Erwin Cadorna.
During the week-long break, all synchronous and asynchronous activities were suspended because faculty members were mandated to not give any requirements, assignments or activities on the said dates.
On November 17, an online forum focusing on physical and mental health issues was conducted with various panelists from the UNP and other agencies answering the queries of the students and faculty.
Questions on how to balance their physical and mental health as well as how to help someone who struggles with the same problem were answered during the forum.
As a way to provide enjoyment to the faculty and students for them to unwind not just mentally but physically, a virtual zumba was conducted on November 18 and was followed by the start of sending of entries for the TikTok competition.
The champion for the TikTok competition was awarded with Php4,000.00, while Php3,000.00 and Php2,000.00 for second and third places, respectively.
Participants of the virtual zumba were also given the chance to win prizes such as Php100.00 worth of load by taking a screenshot or picture during the activity and posting it on the comment section with their name, course, and year on the said Facebook post.
On November 19, a Webinar on Life Skills was conducted with Dr. Nhorly U. Domenden, director of Wundt Psychological Institute as resource speaker, to help and educate the faculty and students on how to handle the increasing phase adjustment of a modern life and how to cope up in terms of mental health with the challenges brought about by the new normal.
November 20 was scheduled as the "PAUSE Day" wherein students were not given any academic activity.
Moreover, full time faculty members also utilized the break to check student examinations and other requirements, improve their modules, do research, and other work-from-home activities during the break.
In his message, President Cadorna was hopeful that the faculty, especially the students will be able to unwind from their academic requirements after the week-long break.
"I hope that with this activity, you will be able to bring back your energy to study and be able to face whatever challenges you have in your academics amid the pandemic," he said.
Aside from this activity, the UNP Student Council and the UNP Guidance and Counseling Services and Information and Orientation Services also established hotline numbers for students to call or message if they need someone to talk to.
In Aloran, Misamis Occidental, its Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Federation also conducts activities to listen to the issues of the youth and provide a safe space where their concerns can be heard amid the COVID-19.
During the Laging Handa Network Briefing aired on Monday, SK Federation President Ace John Mutia said, "The youth are the ones having to adjust to the new education modalities from face-to-face to home learning. This is a big factor because some feel isolated and this affects their mental health."
"We will create online programs where they can message us; we will test it first in one barangay and if it's effective, we will do it in all municipalities of Aloran. We will refer them to agencies, guidance counselors who can help them address their issues," he further added. (JCR/AMB/JMCQ, PIA Ilocos Sur)