CEBU CITY, Philippines – The Sacred Heart Hijas-Girls Batch 1999 will be having their 25th homecoming ceremony in 2024.
To mark their silver year, the batch orchestrated a thought-provoking fundraising event on Saturday, October 14, which curated a very relevant topic in celebration of World Mental Health Awareness Month.
Hosted at Pacific Grand Ballroom of Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino, the batch crafted a one-of-a-kind fundraising concept that not only benefits them but has the ability to make a significant impact on the community.
“We really wanted to do something different. If people will be spending [money], it has to be worthwhile of their time and money,” said Architect Elise Demiar, the president of Sacred Heart Hijas-Girls Batch 1999.
Entitled ‘Understanding and Supporting a Child’s Mental Health,’ the batch centered the event on the importance of nurturing young minds of children and knowing ways to ensure support for their mental health.
“We wanted to emphasize and raise awareness on mental health because even [me] as a mom, I don’t know how our kids act and do every day,” Demiar expressed.
The mental health talk was given light by Dr. Angie Sievert-Fernandez, a certified child specialist and registered psychologist, who became an exceptional source of expertise.
During her talk, Dr. Fernandez gave a comprehensive explanation of how to support a child’s mental health and shared helpful tips for parents to help their children.
She emphasized the importance of the 6Cs for parents, which are caring for physical well-being, communicating effectively, coping and regulation by practicing healthy emotional expressions, connections and relationships, compassion, expressing gratitude and spirituality, and caring for oneself, too.
“Never think that taking care of yourself [parents] is selfish. You cannot be there fully for your children and for your family if you don’t take care [of yourself],” Dr. Fernanded stressed.
She also pointed out the importance of praising specific behaviors of your child and modeling problem-solving.
“If we want our children to learn, we have to model them,” Dr. Fernandez said.
The child specialist advised parents to avoid dismissing a child’s concerns, belittling or comparing them to others, and threatening them.
“Focus on the relationship. It is the most effective parenting strategy to focus,” she said.
Interesting and informative
Meanwhile, in an interview with CDN Digital, Lorely Palacio, 30, a mother of a four-year-old, who is among the audience, gave a favorable response toward the event.
“[The event] is very interesting and informative at the same time. Daghan ko’g na-learn,” Palacio said.
As a first-time mom, Palacio mentioned that she was able to gather many realizations that could help her more in approaching her son.
“I have to apply [the learnings], practice, and be consistent,” she said.
Trina Rodriguez, 40, and a mother of a ten-year-old, also found the talk very effective.
“I learned a lot of valuable lessons about a child’s mental health. I got some advice on how to handle child anxieties,” Rodriguez stated.
A 69-year-old and a grandmother of four grandsons, Florence Almeida, shared how the event became an opportunity for relearning actions so she can apply them to her grandsons.
“We weren’t really taught this way. We didn’t have the opportunity before. Even if I’m a grandparent, I still learned a lot because [I] can still apply [to myself] and also to [my] grandsons,” Almeida said.
A significant proportion of the proceeds generated from the successful fundraising event will be donated to the Kythe Foundation Inc.
It is a non-profit, non-stock organization aimed at improving the quality of life among hospitalized children with cancer and chronic illness.