Call for Typhoon Ulysses (Vamco) Donations

IAHV Philippines is calling for donations (cash preferred) for the victims of Typhoon Rolly (Goni) and the ongoing Typhoon Ulysses (Vamco), which continues to cause severe flooding and damage.

Your donations will be used to buy the essentials: food, hygiene products, disinfectants, face masks, and other items identified later on. These will be distributed in partnership with Tzu Chi Foundation, a well-respected NGO in disaster emergency relief.

For cash donations:

Bank Name: Banco de Oro Unibank, Inc.

Bank Acct: International Association for Human Values Foundation (Philippines), Inc.

Bank Acct No.: 008-018-014-976

For checks, pay to: IAHV Philippines


Bank Name: Bank of the Philippine Islands

Bank Acct: 145-000-4843


PayPal

http://PayPal.me/IAHVPhilippines

If you require a donor’s receipt, please email lnasayao@gmail.com with the following info: full name, address, amount donated, date of donation, reference number, and copy of payment slip.

 

For other donations or queries, please email admin@iahv-philippines.org.

Integrating Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Peacebuilding

There is a long history of violence and armed conflict in the Philippines involving insurgents, clan militias, criminal groups, and recently, violent extremist groups.

 

Complex emergencies due to conflict and violence increase the rates of a wide range of mental health problems and diminish the capacity of organizations to provide adequate services. In the worst cases, this can lead to suicide, destructive behavior, burn-out, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, or illness. In less severe cases, individuals demonstrate the inability to function, decreased motivation and agency, and increased risk of illness and substance abuse. 

Why is it so hard to offer support?

Peacebuilding and humanitarian organizations often lack the resources to offer trauma-relief programs on a scale that is required in emergencies. The magnitude of affected populations and the destruction of social systems and infrastructure often render standard pharmacological and psychotherapeutic services, including one-on-one interventions, inefficient and, in some cases, unrealistic.

 

There is also increasing evidence and acknowledgment that military and criminal justice responses are insufficient in creating deep and lasting individual transformation among ex-combats and their families if psychosocial issues are not properly addressed. Strategies to tackle the structural factors linked to violent extremism, such as reducing poverty and improving socioeconomic situations and education, remain inadequate in and by itself.

IAHV

IAHV advocates for a new paradigm on how we understand and deal with trauma and violent extremism, which is fundamentally human, delving into the psychosocial roots of the challenge.

 

IAHV Philippines has been conducting programs that integrate mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) across the peacebuilding-humanitarian-development nexus.

Some of our key activities include:

  • Conducted introductory peacebuilding workshops in 3 ISIS-affected areas in Lanao del Sur (Butig, Pagayawan, and Saguiaran) that brought together the Armed Forces of the Philippines (103rd Brigade, AFP), 160 members f the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), 36 Maute-ISIS returnees, and local government representatives in joint peacebuilding activities – the first time these groups have been brought together, according to the AFP.

 

  • With the financial support from UNDP Philippines, conducted a Youth Peacebuilding Leadership Training (YPLT) for 18 Muslim youth leaders who were directly affected by the 2017 Marawi Siege and are members of the Thuma Ko Kapagingud Service.

With financial support from UNDP Philippines, launched the SKY Campus Program at Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan, which aims at teaching university students in conflict-affected areas to (1) release stress, master emotions, withstand radicalization and peer pressure, and solve conflicts using non-violent action; and (2) use emotional intelligence, social connection, service, and leadership for personal well-being, social change and peacebuilding.

DISASTER/COVID-19 RESPONSE: N95 MASK DISTRIBUTION

TAAL VOLCANIC ERUPTION

On 12 January 2020, Taal Volcano erupted killing 39 people and covering several provinces with ash. IAHV distributed relief goods and 7,500 pcs. of N95 masks to the most affected communities.

COVID-19 PANDEMIC

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the Philippines, healthcare workers are disproportionately affected, accounting for 13%-16% of confirmed cases, due to the lack of personal protective equipment. As of 20 May 2020, IAHV has distributed 36,622 pcs. of N95/KN95 masks to more than 100 frontline institutions (hospitals, army, police, etc.) across 16 provinces.

SKY Resilience Program: Stress Management and Mental Resilience for Military Cadets and Officers

Defense and law enforcement are considered high-stress professions – due to regular exposure to high-risk situations involving human misery, violence and potentially life-threatening situations. The prevalence of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other mental illnesses (e.g. anxiety, depression, suicidal tendencies) are high among military soldiers and police, and because of the stigma around showing any kind of physical and psychological weakness, these mental health conditions are rarely recognized and treated, let alone prevented. This failure to effectively address the mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) needs of the soldiers and police compromises their ability to focus, make good judgement calls and perform optimally.

 

the SKY Resilience Program (SKY)

The SKY Resilience Program (SKY) is a total well-being and resilience training tailored for people in high-stress professions, who are regularly exposed to high-risk situations involving violence and potentially life-threatening situations. The SKY Resilience Program, when done as a group, improves trust, teamwork and builds a shared vision with ownership towards a common goal.

 

The SKY Resilience Program offers an experiential curriculum that includes interactive group processes, physical exercise, SKY® breathing exercises, relaxation techniques, positive psychology, emotional intelligence, and leadership and service learning. It is divided into 2 phases over an 8-week timeframe. Phase 1 includes an intensive workshop of 2.5-hour sessions done in four consecutive days. Phase 2 consists of 1-hour, once-a-week follow-up sessions done in 7 weeks.

Institutions that have participated in the SKY Resilience Program include:

    • Philippine Military Academy
    • Regional Support Training Unit, Philippine National Police Regional Office in the Cordillera

Stress Management and Resilience Program for COVID-19 Frontliners​

Stress Management and Resilience Program for COVID-19 Frontliners and Disaster First Responders

Overcome these challenging times with a unique breathing and relaxation program

Upcoming Sessions:

november 18-20, 2020 (wednesday-friday)
7:00-9:00pm

december 2-4, 2020 (wednesday-friday)
7:00-9:00PM

december 9-11, 2020 (friday-sunday)
7:00-9:00PM

IAHV Philippines is here to support you!

You have been taking care of the sick and needy in an overstrained healthcare system. You have been ensuring food supply and essential services are maintained for all. You have been keeping law and order in these insecure times. You have been providing essential resources for all Filipinos.

 

This unprecedented situation is likely putting immense stress on you. You may be feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, anxious, and exhausted physically and mentally.

We Commit to caring for all our frontline workers during this global pandemic.

We offer to each of you, at no cost, our internationally-recognized and evidence-based stress management techniques to keep you mentally and emotionally strong on the frontlines.

Eligible Key Workers Include:

Healthcare

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Medicine

pharmacist

Law, Order, & Security

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Transport Workers

truck

Food Supply & Distribution

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Social Care

help

Practical benefits for personal well-being and resilience:

  • Improved health, immunity, sleep and reduced anxiety, depression, burn-out
     
  • Increased energy levels and sense of rejuvenation
     
  • Deep release of chronic and accumulated stress, trauma and healing
  • Access to inner peace in the midst of chaos and conflict
     
  • Better clarity of mind and greater focus
     
  • Improved ability to manage challenging situations and people

Independent research from four different continents, published in more than 70 peer-reviewed articles, has shown that SKY and accompanying practices significantly:

  • Reduce levels of stress (reduces cortisol – the “stress” hormone)
  • Benefit the immune system
  • Relieve anxiety & depression (mild, moderate & severe)
  • Relieve Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms
  • Enhance health, well-being, emotional regulation & peace of mind
  • Affect the mind-body system at the molecular level
  • Enhance brain and autonomic nervous system function (increases mental focus, calmness & recovery from stressful stimuli)

For more detailed information, please see:

It's time to take care of yourself so you can continue taking care of others

What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

What is PTSD and what are its symptoms?

Let’s face it — talking about mental health in the Philippines is not very easy. Conditions like panic attacks and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) only come into public consciousness when they’re mentioned in the news. Take for example the Filipino soldier who was suffering from PTSD and was shot by the police during the quarantine period.

Although there are several studies on Filipinos and PTSD (such as comparing treatment-seeking and non-treatment seeking Filipinos) this condition is not widely – or comfortably -discussed in Filipinos’ everyday lives.

However, one can argue that it has been present in society and even in art. For example, Jose Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere features a character called Sisa whose life drastically changed when her boys went missing. Since then, the term “Sisa” has been synonymous with crazy because of the way the mother acted after this traumatic experience. Who is to say that she is not simply suffering from PTSD?

 

PTSD in the Philippines after the pandemic

In recent years, journalists have covered PTSD in relation to the impact of natural disasters (e.g. Typhoon Yolanda) and conflict and violence (e.g. Marawi siege). For the longest time, PTSD has been associated with war veterans who have undergone intense hardships or particularly bloody batters. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic, we may be getting more PTSD cases among frontline workers and the general public.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that mental health illnesses will increase because of the pandemic. Health workers, frontliners and people who have lost someone during this pandemic will be dealing with the stress and grief that can affect them long term. [https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/mental-health-considerations.pdf]

People who have also lost their jobs and livelihood during this time may also have to deal with PTSD. In the Philippines, we also have cases of Locally-Stranded Individuals (LSI), which includes students, overseas workers and the unemployed, who have been stranded in cities, living in unsafe temporary shelters and waiting for transportation to go back to their provinces.

There is also the story of Michelle Silvertino, the 33-year old single mother who lived and died under the footbridge of a highway while waiting for public transportation. This angered netizens and prompted the Government to improve on their Balik Probinsya Program.

This is why it’s not surprising that many scientists are saying that the next pandemic is a mental health crisis.

To better prepare ourselves for this inevitable reality that many of us or our loved ones will be facing, let’s learn more about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

 

What does PTSD mean?

PTSD means Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. It is a condition that often occurs in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event.

Because of the trauma, it affects a person’s way of life. For example, a person may become avoidant of situations that may remind him or her of the trauma. They may also have flashbacks or nightmares about this difficult experience.

PTSD can happen to both men and women, young and old, regardless of one’s race or culture. PTSD can be the result of traumatic experiences such as wars, abuse, or natural disasters.

What are the known symptoms of PTSD?

PTSD can manifest in several ways:

  • Memories and thoughts of the traumatic episode become very intrusive
  • You experience a lot of flashbacks that are so vivid, it feels like you are reliving the experience
  • You actively try to avoid anything that will remind you of the experience, including people, places, activities, and even objects
  • You try to avoid talking about the traumatic experience
  • Negative feelings and thoughts take over your life
  • You suddenly find it very difficult to trust people
  • You have an ongoing fear, anger, guilt, or shame about the experience
  • You no longer enjoy the activities that you used to like
  • After the traumatic incident, you feel detached or estranged from other people
  • You find yourself being more irritable or you become angry really fast over the smallest of things
  • It’s also possible that you start to engage in self-destructive activities such as taking illegal substances
  • You scare easily or you become very paranoid
  • You have trouble concentrating or sleeping

 

How do I know if I have PTSD?

To know if you have PTSD, it is best that you talk to a mental health professional who will give you a proper diagnosis of your situation. If you find yourself exhibiting several of the symptoms listed above, that’s your cue to contact your nearest mental health center.

 

PTSD vs. Panic Attacks

A panic attack is another mental health condition wherein a person can experience intense feelings of fear without the actual danger. They are characterized by nausea, dizziness, and trembling.

On the other hand, PTSD is often triggered by re-experiencing the traumatic event. For example, when the person dreams or has flashbacks of the disturbing event, he or she can have heart palpitations, shortness of breath, etc.

 

PTSD vs. Anxiety Attacks

When panic attacks recur and become a long-term condition, they can become anxiety attacks. The symptoms should be present for at least six months before a diagnosis can be made.

The symptoms of PTSD and anxiety attacks may overlap which is why you need the opinion of a medical professional to determine your condition properly.

 

Can I get PTSD from emotional abuse?

Yes, you can get PTSD from emotional abuse. While not all emotional abuse can lead to PTSD, it is very possible that PTSD can develop after a particularly shocking or frightening experience. Emotional abuse can be counted as psychological trauma which can have the same effect on the body as physical trauma.

People who have developed PTSD because of emotional abuse are categorized to have the complex type of PTSD or C-PTSD.

What are the types of emotional abuse that can lead to C-PTSD?

Being treated a certain way by a partner, a relative, or even a friend can be counted as emotional abuse, especially if these things happen:

  • Your personal freedom is taken away
  • You are separated from other people
  • You are not given a right to privacy or you feel that your personal space is being taken over
  • They use threats to control or manipulate you
  • They threaten other people who are close to you
  • You are constantly being humiliated or belittled

 

Where do I get help for PTSD?

The bad news is that PTSD is not 100% curable. Like other mental health conditions, the symptoms can only be effectively managed so that the individual can function in his or her everyday life.

A lot of doctors recommend a combination of medication and therapy to improve the lifestyle of people who have PTSD. Meditation and breathing techniques can also do wonders to calm the mind of people who have PTSD.

Organizations like the International Association for Human Values (IAHV) that respond to the mental health and psychosocial needs of people affected by disasters, conflict and violence offer a wide range of services for people who are dealing with PTSD. IAHV teaches simple, evidence-based techniques that have been shown in 70+ independent scientific studies to reduce anxiety, depression and PTSD by 60-90%.

If you want to reach out to IAHV Philippines, simply email us or send us a message through our social media channels.

 

 

 

 

Photo by Engin Akyurt from Pexels

Photo by Kat Jayne from Pexels

Handing Over Ceremony of Palar River Rejuvenation

December 03, 2015

“The Whole world is struggling for water and it is said that if a third world war happens it would be because of water.”, said IAHV & Art of Living Founder, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, bringing the attention of the citizens of Kaiwara (dist Chikkaballapur) to a possible solution for their water problems.

Volunteers begun work for Palar’s rejuvenation, the removal of silt and reviving the small streams which flowed to the river after the rains. Initial work has commenced in Phase-1 on 10km streams, covering 35 villages. Until now, 40 recharge wells, 2 recharge borewells, 2 boulder checks and 1 water pool has been constructed. Narayanavana, a grove of medicinal plants with 30 different varieties has been created.

Along with the farmers, we have started planting trees. 3000 trees were planted within one month. This will continue and 10000 saplings will be planted in the next few months.

A Narayana Vana has been created at Kaiwara, as part of the rejuvenation project. There are 32 species of rare and endangered plants, like, Sita Ashoka (helpful in relieving stress and addressing gynecological problems), “Kadambi” (traps dust) and Atti tree (other organisms and birds nest in this tree). In total, there are around 200 trees and 2,000 herbs and shrubs in this Vana.

Palar Then and Now
40 years ago: The majestic Palar river flowed through the 3 states of Karnataka, Andhra and Tamil Nadu, with lush natural vegetation decorating its banks. Flowing even in time of drought, the river fed and replenished numerous wells and streams, ultimately merging into the Bay of Bengal.

Present Day: Today, the soil has corroded, basin is filled with silt and the wells and streams are a thing of the past.

 

September 28, 2015

Our Founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Ji handed over recharge structures of Palar River Rejuvenation to Gram Panchayat and inaugurated Narayana vana at Kaiwara, Karnataka on 19th Sep 2015.