Screen star and mental health advocate Heart Evangelista was one of the speakers at the virtual Global Town Hall on “Rebuilding From The COVID-19 World,” which was held last Friday, Nov. 20.
Heart was the only Filipina among the speakers who shared their personal experiences and message of hope during these uncertain times. She was joined by the Minister of Youth and Sports of Malaysia H.E. Syed Saddiq and Indonesian Entertainer and Entrepreneur Cinta Laura Kiehl during their session.
"In a way, I feel like every time a Filipino goes somewhere I'm very proud. I'm also very proud I was given a platform to talk about the things I'm passionate about. It inspires me to do more. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that someone would contact me to talk about what I'm really passionate about. It gives more meaning to what I do," said the Kapuso star.
As someone who has been vocal about her own experiences dealing with mental health issues behind the glitz and glamour of the entertainment scene and the social media, Heart spoke about the need to create awareness and reduce the stigma attached to mental health.
"It's something not a lot of people talk about openly. It's not as normalized as it should be. This is a personal topic for me. I, myself, for what I've been doing for 24 years—all the pressure of show business, trying to be beautiful, trying not to be scandalous, and all of that—that does something to you subconsciously, in a way damages your soul,” she shared during the international discussion.
Heart also highlighted the importance of prioritizing looking after one’s own mental wellbeing, "You know in your heart you care. You know in your heart that when given a chance, you'll give back to your country. But at the end of the day, you also have to take care of yourself and your mental health. Because how will you function when you're not feeling right about yourself?"
She continued, "Don’t pressure yourself because people are pressuring you. Do it on your own time, your own pace, and that’s what is important because if you take care of yourself, you'll be able to take care of more people."
Initiated by the Foreign Policy Community of Indonesia (FPCI), the Global Town Hall is a virtual meeting that provides a platform for leading minds across the world to discuss, in a marathon one-day discussion, the state of play in the COVID-19 world. The event was attended by a global audience from more than 65 countries around the world.
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