TPEF Conducts Webinar on Mental Health and Wellness

For the benefit of teachers of Sorsogon and Oriental Mindoro provinces
As part of the social development initiatives (SDIs) carried out by the TORM Philippines Education Foundation (TPEF), a webinar on mental health and wellness was organized for teachers to address the need for socio-emotional support from the pressures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Teachers Well-Being is Key
Mr. Jose Ricafort Jr., the School Head of Manlabong National High School in Prieto Diaz, Sorsogon, shared that he believed the pandemic creates a lot of mental health concerns for the teachers. He remarked that the teachers experienced a higher level of stress and anxiety as a result of remote learning programs and believed that the teachers well-being is key to delivering high-quality education to the students, especially during this pandemic. Hence, the webinar was anchored around the theme “Educators Mental Health and Wellness: Create Balance in the New Way of Living and Remote Teaching” with Ms. Myreen Cleofe, PhD Cand., RGC, RPsy, RPm, LPT from the University of Santo Tomas as speaker.

Inspiring Welcome Speech
At least 166 teachers from six public senior high schools and eight elementary schools in the two provinces of Sorsogon and Oriental Mindoro attended. The webinar was opened by Ms. Grinnabelle Duran, Head of TORM Philippines, and President of the TORM Philippines Education Foundation Board of Trustees. In her speech, she acknowledged the participants and emphasized the importance of self-care, which is a prerequisite for taking care of others.

Teachers as Frontliners
The speaker highlighted that teachers are frontliners in the educational sector. They put their own welfare at risk to ensure that education will continue amid the COVID-19 pandemic and thus they need to ensure their own health and well-being. She discussed the teacher’s multiple roles and stressors, coping strategies to manage stressors, psychological effects and impacts of those challenges on the student’s well-being. Consequently, she provided mind exercises, body stretching, and breathing techniques which the participants readily can utilize as self-care regimens.

Ms. Vivian Abejuro, School Head of Calao National High School in Prieto Diaz, Sorsogon and Mr. Franz Faner, School Head of Maujao National High School in Bulalacao, Oriental Mindoro expressed their deepest appreciation to the TPEF because the webinar discussions were very timely and relevant to all the teachers. According to them, this was a rare but very meaningful opportunity. See their comments below:

Ms. Marianne Arines, EdD, OIC Public School District Supervisor District 1 in Prieto Diaz, Sorsogon “not everyone has a chance to attend this kind of webinar. Thanks to the organizer and the whole team.”

Ms. Rowena Formento, teacher at Prieto Diaz National High School, “thank you, I am taking note of the coping strategies shared by the speaker.”

Mr. Rolly Esog, teacher at Maujao National High School, “Education must go on during this time of pandemic.”

Lastly, kudos to Mr. Aljorai Panes, Crewing Manager at TORM Philippines for being volunteer assistant for the two-hour webinar session.