The world is greatly challenged by numerous natural calamities impacting people’s mental health across nations. Climate change is the reason behind these natural calamities that beset us. As a reality, we must be propelled to act boldly and firmly and to get on our feet ahead of future possibilities, so we can contribute to some mitigating initiatives that will address climate change impacts and aftermaths.
Science tells us that a sound mind rests in a good body. In like manner, we can claim that a sound mind and body relax in a proper environment. This premise makes our convention theme, “Framing Climate Change for Global Mental Health,” very timely. As practitioners in the field of mental health preservation, we need to acknowledge and accept our role in helping mitigate climate change. We cannot just focus solely on preparing our responses to the impact of calamities on global mental health and leave the groundwork for climate change mitigation to other professionals specializing in this field. We must contribute to preventing environmental degradation and introduce initiatives as one significant association vis-à-vis our capacities and capabilities. What can we do together along this very pressing global phenomenon?
At the June 2022 International Summit on Psychology and Global Health: Leadership for Emerging Challenges held at Universidad de los Andes, Bogota, Colombia, South America, the Global Psychology Alliance (GPA) reiterated the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal No.13, which calls us to “take urgent action to combat climate change and its impact.” Aligning ourselves to this call of duty as a member association of the GPA, we acknowledge our leaders’ emphasis in the said resolution that: “Psychological science and psychologists can (1) address climate change through research and psychological interventions to ameliorate harms to mental health and build resilience; (2) encourage environmentally friendly attitudes and behaviors and pro-social and pro-health behaviors; and (3) offer support to climate refugees.”
Time is of the essence. We must act now and forge ties to preserve our natural environment. As mental health professionals, let us foster a proactive and deliberate effort to engage our respective students, our communities, and our scope of presence in understanding the need to take extra care of our natural environment for our mental health preservation. Let us, please, take an active role in our 58th Convention as it calls all of us to partake in those mentioned above.
We acknowledge with deep gratitude the efforts of our PAP Board of Directors and Staff in bringing our plans for our 58th Convention to fruition and put forth our arms to move proactively for our 60th Anniversary in November.
God bless us all.
Dear PAP Colleagues and Friends,
We warmly welcome you all to the 58th Annual Convention of the Psychological Association of the Philippines with the theme, “Framing Climate Change for Global Mental Health” which will be held from September 22 to 24, 2022
Our virtual convention invites an open discourse on climate change and mental health as the Philippines adopted a national policy to address the adverse effect of climate change and mental health with the passing of the Climate Change Act of 2009 and the Mental Health Act in 2017. Rightfully, Filipinos declared their love for the environment in the Supreme Court cases of Oposa – a group of children promoting the right to a balanced and healthful ecology – and the Resident Marine Mammals, recognizing the legal standing of toothed whales, dolphins, porpoises, and other cetacean species.
The Philippines is a beautiful country and has a bright and tropical climate which is why foreign nationals choose the country for a refreshing vacation; even our fellow Filipinos explore more of what the Philippines has to offer whenever they feel stressed out from work, school, and life in general. They search for a safe place to recharge their mental health, so they opt to travel to different parts of the country.
While the Philippines has a season of bright and warm summers, we also experience monsoons and even have strong and destructive typhoons visiting us which can disrupt some people’s livelihood, and even their homes. In the past couple of years, we have also experienced earthquakes with high magnitudes and a few volcanoes showing some activities after a long time of slumber; some would even say that they are reminiscent of the 1991 eruption of Pinatubo and for those who experienced the event first hand would recall and be reminded of it which is a factor of stress for them.
Being an advocate of Mental Health and Climate Change, the Psychological Association of the Philippines (PAP) develops evidence-based programs that promote mental health to serve the affected communities from natural calamities. In addition, PAP is an active partner of the Philippine Council for Mental Health and Global Psychology Alliance.
The 58th PAP Annual Convention is privileged to have international speakers from the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference, Dr. Brian Dixon (New Zealand Psychology Society) and Dr. Valeriia Palii (National Psychological Association of Ukraine) including Dr. Sandra Shullman (2020 APA President) and Dr. Carlos Zalaquett (Former President; Sociedad Interamericana de Psicologia-Interamerican Society of Psychology).
As this year’s convention chair and co-chairs, we are grateful to the PAP Board of Directors, Psychology PRB, former PAP presidents, international speakers, dedicated Secretariat, and everyone who contributed to make this event successful. We are looking forward to meeting you all virtually in our 58th PAP Convention.