PLDT, Smart reinforce mental health well-being of Passerelles Numériques PH’s scholars and faculty

3/9/24

Passerelles Numériques PH

PLDT Inc. and its wireless unit Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) organized a psychological first aid (PFA) training for over 50 scholars and faculty of Passerelles Numériques Philippines (PNPh). The training session was facilitated by millennial psychologist Riyan Portuguez in-person at Smart’s Regional Office in Cebu.

“At PLDT and Smart, we are committed to using our resources and reach to drive meaningful change. By equipping the youth and educators with crucial PFA skills, we hope to de-stigmatize conversations around mental health while building more empathetic and resilient digital communities in the Philippines,” said Marylou Gocotano, PLDT and Smart Stakeholder Management Visayas Relations Head.

PNPh is a Cebu-based non-profit organization that provides scholarships in IT-related fields to select youth who come from underprivileged backgrounds.

“On behalf of PNPh and our country representative, Luchi Flores, we thank PLDT and Smart for this meaningful partnership that focuses on promoting mental health awareness among our scholars. Through this Psychological First Aid training, our scholars gained a deeper understanding of how they can extend help to their friends, family members, or fellow scholars who are dealing with mental health-related concerns, making our community a safe space for all,” said Alreen Omang, PNPh Partnerships and External Relations Officer. 

A fundamental part of the PLDT Group’s advocacy to promote and encourage digital wellness, the PFA training equipped the student-scholars and faculty members with skills to provide initial support to peers experiencing emotional distress. It upskilled participants with practical stress management, referral techniques, and various techniques to provide initial psychological support.

Mark Kevin Chavez, a first-year college scholar taking up Associate in Computer Technology in Software Development at the University of San Jose Recoletos said he is grateful for the chance to participate in the PFA training. “This motivated me to continue taking care of myself and my mental well-being, as well as provide proper support to others with mental health needs, so that we can all be better every day,” he added.

This mental health training for PNPH scholars and faculty is part of PLDT and Smart’s sustained digital wellness campaign, focused on responsible online behavior and emotional resilience. These initiatives help underscore PLDT and Smart’s contribution to the Philippines’ attainment of UN Sustainable Development Goal #3: Good Health and Well-being.