Words by Clarissa Li
Photos by Zoie Sy
The founders of She Talks Asia gives attendees a warm welcome to the 2019 iMatter conference
Last October 12, She Talks Asia held a conference entitled ‘iMatter’ in order to tackle mental health awareness issues. Multiple speakers were invited to share their personal stories and experiences while also expounding on the different stigmas that they wished to overcome.
LEFT TO RIGHT: Dinah and Vim Nadera
Evidently, mental health has been a topic that has been extremely hard to talk about. It’s a topic that everyone knows of, and yet are afraid to speak up about. However, She Talks Asia hopes to change that. By holding conferences and creating a safe space for everyone, they aim to be able to promote empathy and dialogue among community members. Not only that but instead of simply shedding light on the issue, they make sure to focus on the individual stories of each advocate.
During the event, a series of speakers went onstage and gave attendees a deeper insight into the topic of mental health awareness. They made sure to tap into the multiple issues and stigmas that people refuse to talk about, such as depression, anxiety, rape, and suicide. Moreover, they promoted self-love and suicide prevention in response to the rising number of deaths caused by mental health cases.
The panel discussions and speeches expounded on all the stigmas that people seem to set aside. Speakers like Claudia Barretto and Kylie Versoza opened up about the hardships they encountered and the way they coped with the pressure despite constantly being put under the spotlight. This way, She Talks was able to encourage attendees to talk freely and transparently about the issues people usually try to avoid and made sure to make everyone feel welcomed.
”The stigma nowadays is that we feel like we need to achieve something to be worth something.” -Dr. Sheila Tan
The mindset that the organization aims to change is the way we all feel about our self-worth. We have to start with ourselves, and we need to learn how to love ourselves before learning how to love others. In other words, She Talks hopes to be able to spread more attention regarding mental health awareness in order to promote self love and expression. And on that note, here’s a short quote from Dr. Sylvia Claudio:
”We all deserve to be happy.”
Sharmaine Buencamino speaks up about mental illness with the help of her daughter Julia’s writings and artworks
Stay strong, because no matter what you may be going through, I believe that you will always overcome it. ?
For more information about the organization’s events and advocacies, you can find She Talks Asia on:
Facebook (She Talks Asia)
and their website https://www.shetalksasia.com