Dr. Rolando Mamaat Jr. speaks at a session during the seminar series.
(Photo: Rene Pascua/UB Media Affairs and Publications Office)
In efforts to intensify its information campaign on teen depression in the campus, the University of Baguio (UB) staged a seminar series at the UB RCB Dome on March 24, 27, 29 and 31.
Carrying the theme “Dignity in Mental Health: Mental Awareness for All,” the series highlighted key facts central to understanding depression.
Dr. Rolando Mina Mamaat Jr., who spoke on the nature of depression, noted that someone who has depression “represents millions of people,” citing the recent World Health Organization data that reveal that the number of people suffering from depression worldwide reaches over 300 million.
“Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices,” he said.
Dr. Mamaat said a mental disorder such as depression is construed from a number of different perspectives. Accordingly, biology and genetics assert that symptoms of mental disorders are caused by factors such as biochemical imbalances and genetic predispositions. Meanwhile, the diathesis–stress model of mental illness suggests that some people possess an enduring vulnerability factor which, when coupled with a recent stressor, results in psychological disorder.
Dr. Mamaat also touched on the warning signs of depression: drastic change in eating or sleeping routine; loss of interest in usual activities; severe mood swings; and self-harm, among others.
He noted, however, that experiencing one, some or all of the said warning signs does not automatically qualify someone as having a mental illness. It is always highly suggested to consult a professional, he said.
Dr. Mamaat also emphasized ways to maintain positive mental health: connecting with others, helping others, getting enough sleep, and getting physically active, among others.
In a March 2017 Reuters report, it was disclosed that the rates of depression on a global scale have risen by more than 18 percent since 2005, but “lack of support for mental health combined with a common fear of stigma means many do not get the treatment they need.”
In UB, the percentage of depression cases is minimal. Still, the campaign aims to make the school community informed and aware of the nature of depression, thereby encouraging positive active discussion in the campus about the matter.
Participated in by students from the UB Senior High School, the activity was organized by the UB Senior High School Psychology Department in coordination with the UB Senior High School Philosophy Department and the UB Media Affairs and Publications Office. The activity is part of the University’s “It Gets Better” awareness campaign on teen depression, which was launched in March.