Mental illness is undoubtedly an important subject that must be discussed—and not behind closed doors, but openly, in spaces where those afflicted by it can freely seek the help they need. "I wanted to tell girls that what they see in social media is just a fraction of reality," Belle Daza says, touching on the topic of how the online sphere affects those suffering from anxiety and depression. She shares her thoughts on the matter on IGTV:


Recently, the Senate passed the Mental Health Law, which will hopefully help erase the stigma surrounding mental health conditions. According to Senator Risa Hontiveros, "one in 5 Filipino adults also suffer from a form of mental disorder"—this goes to show how much the issue needs to be addressed and talked about in the open.

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"Mental illness and depression is amongst us," Belle continues. "Talk to the person you love and ask them 'Are you okay?'... Validate them and say 'I hear you, I see you, I feel you.'" And it's true: acknowledging what other people are going through can eventually help save lives.

If you think you may have depression or know someone with depression, you can contact the Department of Health's 24-hour suicide prevention hotline, Hopeline, 804-4637; 0917-5584673; and 2919 for Globe and TM subscribers.

You may also call Crisis Line for free and anonymous counseling through: (02) 893-7603, 0917-8001123, or 0922-8938944. You can also join SOS Philippines on Facebook, a support group founded for survivors of suicide loss and Filipinos undergoing mental health ailments like depression and bipolar disorder.

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With additional reporting by Charlene J. Owen

This story originally appeared on

* Minor edits have been made by the editors

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