“The youth has to understand that healthy psychological well-being comes from a growth mindset that enables one to cope with stress of life,” said Far Eastern University guidance and counseling director Dr. Sheila Marie Hocson.
During the forum, entitled “Mental Health Awareness and Positive Psychology among Digital Natives,” Dr. Hocson shared the nature, symptoms, and causes of mental health issues and how to prevent and deal with it.
The discussion was attended by more than 240 senior high school students, teachers, guidance counselors, and mental health advocates from 19 schools in Metro Manila.
With the mission of providing solutions to challenges faced by today’s youth, FEU teamed up with the Department of Health to understand how digital natives think and to improve their psychological well-being.
DOH and the National Statistics Office’s studies show that cases of self-harm due to mental illness have increased in recent years, especially among the young. Mental illness is now the third most common form of disability among Filipinos, with a high number of suicide reports observed between the ages of 15 to 29.
According to Dr. Hocson, Generation Z or iGen grew up in the middle of the Great Recession and age of the information highway. These two major global phenomena affect how the digital youth processes and acts upon their thoughts and emotions.
“This age group is hyper-aware. They were exposed early to the weight of real life decisions while still developing their emotional being,” shared Dr. Hocson. “Together with unfiltered information available across online media, the mental state of digital natives can easily be confused if not guided well. It is important to instill them with values early on.”
Poor mental health is generally caused by lack of self-awareness, coping skills, psychological capital, and attachment from significant people in their lives. Without these, daily stress has the potential to build up and lead to different mental health concerns.
To help digital natives achieve a healthy psychological well-being, both families and schools are encouraged to conduct growth mindset programs and positive education anchored by Positive Psychology. These include activities that will hone the cognitive and non-cognitive skills of the digital youth. Moreover, these are exercises that promote an attitude of accepting one’s own flaws and imperfections, and respecting diversity, inclusion, and equality.
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