The National Mental Health Summit: A Mind You Milestone

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The National Mental Health Summit: A Mind You Milestone

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The National Mental Health Summit 2021 was Mind You’s inaugural host event for the mental health industry and the first of many to come. The event was organised with the objective of gathering key stakeholders, members of government, mental health professionals, and mental health advocates to tackle the questions: what is the state of mental health in the Philippines, and how can we effectively manage the national mental health crisis? Ultimately, the goal was to educate and empower the general public about mental health and connect them with the appropriate resources available in the country.

Cristine Reyes, award-winning actress and mental health advocate as the Master of Ceremonies

[From left to right] Miguel Valdez, Head of Operations at Mind You and CEO of Vanguard Assessments; Dr. Dinah Palmera Nadera, Medical Specialist and Project Leader; Rea Celine Villa, Senior Psychologist at Mind You; Michael J. Needham, Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer at Mind You during the panel discussion.

In summary  the Summit was a success, in all the ways that we had planned for. The diverse speaker line-up featured esteemed individuals such as Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte, Mental Health Act author Senator Risa Hontiveros, Department of Health Chief Health Program Officer Frances Cuevas, and Director of the University Gender Hub, Dr. Mira Ofreneo, a center that fosters gender inclusivity just to name a few. With their engaging speeches and presentations, we were able to deep-dive into what the state of mental health looks like in virtually every corner of the Philippines: that is, for Local Government Units (LGUs), businesses, women, the youth, the sports community, the LGBTQIA+ community, and finally, the general population. 

The panel discussion segment featured Mind You’s very own Head of Operations and CEO of Vanguard Assessments, Miguel Valdez, Senior Psychologist, Rea Celine Villa, and Chief Strategy Officer and Co-Founder Michael J. Needham, alongside medical specialist and project leader Dr. Dinah Palmera Nadera. The discussion explored questions submitted by the audience, tackling real world sociological topics such as mental health stigmas specific to Filipino culture, the varying levels of accessibility and education across the region, and the hopeful outlook we have on the future of mental health in our country.

Engagement and reach for the summit  has been sky-rocketing across our social media platforms: with livestreams on Facebook, Youtube and Kumu reaching over 79,000 people, and the event amassed a total of 21,000 views. It was shared and commented on more than  600 times, and generated over 29,000 likes. The summit attracted viewers from Zamboanga, Rizal, Bataan, Cebu, Pampanga, Caloocan, Iloilo and Davao; some even tuning in from Singapore, Mexico and the USA. 

“The way they explained the realities of mental health in our country was eloquent, respectful and sufficiently based on true data.”

Kenli Rey S. Diaz, Student from Ateneo de Iloilo

“I learned so much from the event. I was able to know how to support my friends and also how to cope with stress and anxiety.”

Erica Joi Latayan, Telemarketing Agent

“The summit drove me more to be a mental health advocate.”

Pat Arnee I. Arradji, Teacher at Lubigan National High School


The Summit also received raving reviews, such as the ones shown above. Out of 138 survey responses, the event scored an overall rating of 9.66 out of 10. Charlene Mae Villanueva of Central Luzon State University ‘enjoyed every single part of the event’ because the topics were ‘timely and helpful’. Another wrote that they were grateful for Mayor Joy Belmonte’s segment, as they were not even aware of the programs that were running in Quezon City. Felicia Andrea N. Constantino of Ateneo de Davao University appreciated that Dr. Dinah delivered very ‘technical terms in the Filipino language’, and was one of many students that walked away from the Summit feeling more informed and excited about their prospects as the mental health professionals of tomorrow. Many respondents lauded the speakers for being engaging, knowledgeable, and that they made their topics easier for the viewers to understand. 

It is clear that the people have been sharing similar sentiments for a long time, or are now coming to realise the same thing: that mental health has always been of utmost importance, and it will take the collective efforts of the government, private sector and individuals alike to bring about inter-generational transformation in the Philippines. For the Mind You team, the summit marks a significant milestone in our journey: it has provided a springboard for the mobilisation of resources towards achieving our long-term goal, as well as a safe place to initiate much-needed conversations that will eventually trickle into every home, classroom, meeting room and every corner of the Philippines. 

To follow us on our mission to transform the culture of mental health in the Philippines, follow us @mindyoumhs on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Kumu & YouTube.

The Mind You team is all smiles after wrapping up the National Mental Health Summit 2021

#EndTheStigma #BeTheChange 

Sandra Oledan Rodriguez

Marketing Communications Manager

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