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Children together with CIIT Volunteers

Empowering Young Minds: CIIT Volunteers Lead Art and Mental Health Workshop

CIIT and the Quezon City Main Library (QCML) joined forces for an Art and Mental Health Workshop on March 20, 2024, addressing the lack of mental health resources for children in need.

Recognizing the lack of access to mental health programs and resources for children facing difficult circumstances, CIIT took proactive steps to address this critical need. In collaboration with the Quezon City Main Library (QCML), we organized an Art and Mental Health Workshop on March 20, 2024.

The workshop is spearheaded by volunteers from CIIT’s HR Department, including Franz Miguel B. Capati, Mikko Lancey T. Hicarte, and Audrie Paulianne P. Arevalo, along with Gillian Mae S. Sapino, a librarian under Academics Department. 

Throughout the event, 35 young participants [aged 10 to 15 from the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps)] engaged in activities designed to enhance their emotional intelligence and foster self-expression through art. 

Our collective goals also include deepening children’s understanding of how emotions function and how they can be effectively managed. Additionally, it sought to help our young attendees express themselves through color, integrating the aspects of art and mental health into a single session.

Workshop Highlights

In collaboration with the Community Development Office, the initiative also aimed to promote civic welfare within the CIIT community. 

The workshop started with an introduction by Sir Franz Miguel Capati. This was followed by an engaging activity where children collaborated as a team to express their emotions through colors. Each group was assigned a specific character emotion from the movie Inside Out (Happiness, Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, or Disgust). They were also instructed to choose colors that they believed best represented the assigned emotion. With 30 minutes allocated for the activity, they worked on their pieces before presenting their creations to the group.

Miss Audrie Arevalo talked about the significance of color psychology. With their ability to indicate action, influence choices, and even cause physiological responses, colors are an essential instrument for communication. 

After Miss Audrie’s thoughtful talk, Sir Mikko Hicarte had a presentation on the basic emotions that kids and teenagers feel, with a focus on how important it is to recognize and deal with these feelings. To encourage active participation, giveaways were distributed during Sir Mikko’s Q&A session.

Insights and Learnings

The workshop indeed yielded valuable insights into the emotional well-being of children. Mikko, CIIT’s HR Generalist, mentioned, “Kids generally have a good idea of how to approach their emotions and they generally understand what it is, how it is, and when it’s generally active. The only concern is how they process it and who is there when it needs processing.”

While acknowledging the significance of events like the workshop, there was a collective desire for greater consistency in such initiatives. 

He added, “Children carry a lot of burdens even at a young age, especially those in the 4Ps program. They have a lot of baggage that, though common now, was not present when I was younger. It’s nice that there are events like this, but I hope they happen more consistently because it helps when you see the people you talk to appreciate the new learnings.”

Looking towards the future, there was a shared aspiration for increased accessibility to mental health support for the broader population. This included calls for establishing mental health centers and programs accessible to all, alongside events that merge art and mental health awareness to foster inclusivity and understanding.

Our Continuing Efforts

The Arts and Mental Health Workshop is one of our many commitments to social responsibility and youth development. 

This collaboration highlighted the importance of community efforts in addressing mental health issues and providing support to those in need. It marked a crucial step towards creating a supportive environment where children can thrive both emotionally and creatively. The Quezon City Main Library, along with dedicated volunteers and coordinators, is committed to making a meaningful impact on the lives of these children.

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