With the ever-increasing number of mental health concerns due to the current pandemic, the Rotary Club of Mandaue will host a webinar aptly titled “Faith, Hope and Healing” on July 23. The free webinar will celebrate the club’s 50th charter anniversary on July 24.
We fully agree with RC-Mandaue’s past president and past assistant governor Hermie Go, who notes that: “The pandemic lockdowns, social distancing restrictions etc. have added undue anxieties and uncertainties to people who have lost their jobs and even loved ones. There is an increased level of depression which is prone to substance abuse. This webinar will serve as a learning session, reach out to struggling victims and raise awareness on mental health.”
The club has invited two inspiring speakers. The first is Pastor Ron de los Santos, who will touch on the subject “Life Second Chance: Try Again or Give Up? This Way or That Way.”
Pastor De los Santos is currently the president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Safehaven Addiction Treatment and Recovery Village, a treatment center for people with substance use disorder (SUD). Aside from this position, he also serves as president and CEO of BAI (Battle Against Ignorance) Foundation Inc. and school director of Talamban Christian School.
As to honors, he was conferred an educational certification as Addiction Recovery Specialist and Life Skills Specialist by Asia Metropolitan University in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
In an interesting chapter of his life, Pastor Ron shared how he overcame a seemingly hopeless bout with drug addiction, but started to regret and change when his mother died. As a result, he then became a bible student in a Cebu seminary and proudly completed his Bachelor in Theology degree, magna cum laude. To add to his laurels, he proceeded home to Mindanao, where he completed his BSE in Guidance and Counseling at the University of Southern Mindanao.
Isn’t this a poignant journey of inspiration to others with similar problems?
The second speaker is Dr. Maria Leore Igot, a clinician, professor, researcher and advocate of mental health. Dr. Igot will tackle the subject “Coping with Pandemic Depression and Anxiety.”
She is a fellow of both the Philippine Psychiatric Association and Philippine College of Addiction of Medicine, and an international fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and has a research publication on depression among breast cancer patients.
Among her many accomplishments: faculty member of the Cebu Institute of Medicine, University of Cebu School of Medicine and Matias H. Aznar Memorial College of Medicine. Aside from these, Dr. Igot is an active consultant of Chemical Dependents Control and Rehabilitation Center (CDCARE) of North General Hospital and does consultancy work for several hospitals and psychiatric facilities in Cebu City.
“Before the pandemic, one out of five or six Filipinos were suffering from anxiety and depression, more so at this time. I’m happy to impart my knowledge, to both young and old, enlighten them with mental health concerns, and hopefully prevent them,” said Dr. Igot.
At this point, Rotary past district trainer Angel “Jong” Fernandez said: “We are inviting all Rotarians and Rotaractors to join this webinar. In our District 3860, there are 97 clubs, and there are 10 districts in the country, so we are targeting at least 200, most 300 to attend.”
He further said that in Rotary, there are several areas of focus, among them: peace and conflict prevention and resolution, basic education and literacy, water and sanitation, maternal and child health and disease prevention and treatment etc. “This program would fit in with our advocacies.”
RMA News founder and event planner Robby Alugar, also supports Rotary ideals and is sole sponsor of this webinar. He shares his valuable experience and believes that in every crisis lies an unexpected business opportunity.
This is so true!