All aspects of our lives are greatly affected by how we think, how we feel, and how we act. Taking care to ensure that we are “mentally healthy” gives us a more positive outlook as well as the emotional energy and disposition with which to better handle life’s stressors. However, it is “necessary care” that is often neglected in our fast-paced life.
Johnson & Johnson (Philippines), Inc. has worked consistently to address the local challenges to improve the Mental Health of our people in line with its brand mission that “At Johnson & Johnson, we are working hard to create healthier communities, and put a healthy mind, body, and environment within reach of everyone, everywhere. We believe good health is the foundation of vibrant lives, thriving communities, and forward progress. That’s why for more than 130 years we have aimed to keep people well at every stage and age of life.”
Johnson & Johnson has pioneered groundbreaking research, treatments, and innovations that have opened doors for those living with or caring for someone with mental illness, together with a goal to educate the public, expand access, and change how the world views and treats mental health, partnering with those who share our commitment.
Across the local network, teams are engaged with strategic initiatives that span from addressing drug development to addressing various nervous system issues to educating both the workforce and the public on dealing with and advancing mental health and well-being.
“Making space” for mental health support across the Philippines
One of Johnson & Johnson’s flagship initiatives to address Mental Health entails support for the Philippine Mental Health Association (PMHA) which recognizes the importance of ensuring the well-being of Frontline Health Workers and other essential community sectors responding to the recent COVID-19 health crisis. Johnson & Johnson Philippines currently supports PMHA’s Mental Health and Psychosocial Support for Frontline Health Workers and the Community program to help create and sustain Mental Health Core Groups who prioritize self-care and resilience, while providing Mental Health and psychosocial support to community members. Efforts to introduce the critical Mental Health initiative were completed recently across the National Capital Region, and in the key areas of Palawan, Pangasinan, Benguet, and Cagayan de Oro.
“Access to quality mental healthcare shouldn’t be questioned, delayed, or be set aside – it is a building block to maintaining a healthy holistic lifestyle. We are happy to be PMHA’s partner in this space as we will continue to advocate for every Filipino to take better care of their Mental Health,” said Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health Philippines managing director Manish Anandani.
Together with community health workers, PMHA and Johnson & Johnson Philippines completed online sessions and face-to-face training that reached over 779 community health workers and corollary staff with skills training and education in caring for people’s mental health and well-being. PMHA conducted the sessions on topics such as: Strategies for Better Self-Awareness, Understanding and Managing Common Mental Disorders Among Children and Adolescents, Understanding and Managing Common Mental Disorders Among Adults, Home Management of Individuals with Mental Health Concerns and Handling Psychiatric Emergencies, Providing Mental Health and Psychosocial Support, and more. In the pipeline are modules on Common Mental Health challenges, Ways to Prioritize Self-Care, and How to Effectively Support Others.
As a result, access to Mental Health services is now present in the communities. These trainees are serving to include Taguig, Quezon City, Navotas, Pangasinan, Benguet , Palawan, and Cagayan De Oro.
Educating the Johnson & Johnson Team to promote Mental Health
Because mental healthcare must start at “home”, Johnson & Johnson is also ensuring that their employees are working in an environment that supports their mental well-being. Johnson & Johnson has worked to remove barriers and change how mental health and well-being is understood, treated, and prioritized for everyone so that they can bring their best selves to their lives, work, and communities.
To help employees cope with life’s new normal and the stress it might encompass 100 + employees participated in PMHA/ Johnson & Johnson PH Mental Health care workshops, which were conducted and led by J&J Philippines’ Global Community Impact Philippines (GCI PH) team.
Said PMHA national executive director, Dr. Carolina Uno-Rayco: “There is still so much to be done to advocate the importance of taking care of one’s mental health to Filipinos. We are grateful that Johnson & Johnson Philippines has partnered with us through the years, and is supporting us in our mission by helping amplify our voices, especially among health frontliners, and thereon to as many of our countrymen as possible.”