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Filipino culture holds a heavy stigmatization towards mental health — it is either ignored entirely, or minimized and mocked.

“Why, are you mentally ill?” My mom asked, the sarcasm dripping and oozing from her voice. I’d just handed her an article called “Cats Are the Unsung Heroes of Mental Health” to support why I wanted – no, needed to adopt a kitten into our household. “Yes, mom, I am mentally ill,” I bit back, looking her dead straight in the eyes. She knew that I was on medication for my sexual violence-related PTSD and that I’d been seeing a counsellor for over year to treat it. In the version of Filipino culture that my parents raised me on, we dealt with our suffering with laughter and resilience. Naturally, my mom’s ignorance was unsurprising. Filipino culture holds a heavy stigmatization towards mental health — it is either ignored entirely, or minimized and mocked. Anxiety? It’s all in your head. You’re making excuses. Depression? Sleep it off. You’ll get over it. While mental illness in the Philippines is legally protected against discrimination under the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons, the law itself further perpetuates the stigma, using “insanity” as a blanket term to encompass all disorders.
Related: CRAZY TALK: SHOULD I GET AN EMOTIONAL SUPPORT ANIMAL FOR MY MENTAL HEALTH?

Aloe is an app which promises to help you with the basics of self care which is crucial for those who can't afford constant care or therapy. 

In today's political climate, rife with negativity and hatred, it's easy to forget to take what one would think are the most basic, mundane steps in caring for ourselves. Often we're so caught up by what is going on around us that we become disconnected from our own selves and neglect what our bodies need to survive in this world. We all have days when opening our eyes, breathing, and getting out of bed are the most we can do. Sometimes tasks like brushing our teeth, eating, or drinking a glass of water fall to the wayside because we might be too preoccupied with whatever is going on in our lives. Developing a proficiency in self care was crucial for my own survival while learning to cope with the trauma after experiencing sexual violence. Learning a regular yoga practice helped me maintain a strong connection between my mind and body, and I learned that listening to my physical self and tending to its needs was what was going to keep me alive in such a mentally and emotionally tumultuous part of my life. Prioritizing my well being helped me overcome the challenges of trauma and now it helps me maintain my activism and advocacy as a feminist woman of color.
Related: WHY DECOLONIZING SELF-CARE FUELS OUR RESISTANCE

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