Thriving Thursday: Mental Health Matters!

Karen Quiñones-Axalan
Posted July 16, 2020 from Philippines
Thriving Thursdays is Our Self-Care

As the world faces its battle against the COVID-19 pandemic, discussions on mental health became more prevalent nowadays. 

Having mental health challenges is an invisible pandemic by itself. It needs the same concern and attention as the coronavirus. Sadly, we know more about preventing COVID-19 and identifying its symptoms than recognizing signs of mental health issues/disorders ( depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, OCD, PTSD, etc.).

On the recent Thriving Thursday, World Pulse Ambassadors learn about Mental Health Awareness and Care.

Manasa Raj hosted the one-hour session. She facilitated an ice-breaker by asking, "What are your plans in the remaining six months of 2020?" It was inspiring to hear about one another's goals!

After the brief sharing, our speaker Marie Angele Abanga began her talk. 

Marie is the Founder and CEO of Hope for the Abused and Battered. She is a lawyer, consultant, author, entrepreneur, and psychotherapist. Mental Health Awareness is one of her advocacies.

She covered the following:

  • an overview of what mental health is;
  • what are the myths concerning mental health;
  • what are the importance of mental health awareness;
  • what are the symptoms of mental health challenges;
  • how can we prevent mental health issues; 
  • what are the types of mental health disorders; and
  • what are the effects of mental health disorders.

Marie's talk was succint and comprehensive.

The remaining twenty minutes was open for questions, feedback, and reflection. 

The take aways from this session are:

  • Mental Health Matters!
  • Self-Care, Self-Love, Self-Compassion are important for our mental health.
  • Raise awareness on Mental Health to break stigmas.
  • Be kind. Don't judge. People with mental health challenges don't talk about their invisible battles.
  • Psychosocial Interventions and Community Resiliency are helpful for those who cannot afford therapies.
  • Depression and anxiety are common to parents raising children with special needs. 
  • Research shows allowing people with depression speak their truth or share their stories helps them recover (Narrative Approach). 
  • By narrating their experiences on World Pulse, women with mental health issues begin to heal. World Pulse is a healing platform for women.
  • Speaking your truth is therapeutic; having people believe in you is the purest medicine.
  • Never underestimate the power of women coming together. For years, women hold healing circles knowing they have a community.

Attending Thriving Thursdays is a form of self-care for World Pulse Ambassadors. The connection, presence, and solidarity among sisters are strengthened week after week. Thus, this support group is good for our mental health.

A shout out of appreciation to Manasa as the host, Marie as the speaker, Dawn and Tam as transcribers, and to all who attended this session!

We're definitely looking forward to learning a new topic next Thursday!

This story was submitted in response to World Pulse Digital Ambassadors.

Comments 42

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Jul 16
Jul 16

Dear Karen,
That's just awesome! Great topic especially during this pandemic. Thanks for sharing the notes. Quite helpful.

Thank you, dear Millie. It is a great topic! Please stay safe always!

Ibrahim S Bangura
Jul 16
Jul 16

Wow! what are brave one here, wonderful!

Thank you, bro.

Jul 16
Jul 16

Dear Karen,
Thank you so much for this soulful recap of today's TT call.

It is always a refreshing learning moment of love and connection.
Many thanks to all for continuously give off themselves willingly to make TT enjoyable for all.

Love to you all

Thank you, dear sis Arrey. I enjoyed the topic so much. Yes, I agree with you!

It's nice to see you on these meetings and to learn with you!

Marie Abanga
Jul 16
Jul 16

Dear Kaye,

What an excellent recap, I couldn't have done any better. I was so honoured and humbled to lead the training. The contributions were so to the soul especially about community support and women's healing circles.
I love TT's and always look forward to that moment of DECOMPRESSING in the midst and space of my sisters.
Light and love

Kudos to you, sis Marie! I was really amazed how you covered so much information in a short time. It led to a lively discussion. Great job!

I agree, sis! Love and light to you, too!

Jill Langhus
Jul 17
Jul 17

Hello Dear Kaye,

It sounds like you need a shout of of appreciation, too:-) Weren't you the Executive Producer? I plan on attending next Thursday. I don't want to miss the entire series. This one that you just wrote about sounds good! I definitely think there is a lot of anxiety and depression right now. There's bound to be with so much upheaval and uncertainty, whether it was necessary or not.

Hope you're doing well, and that you have a good weekend, dear!


Aww. Thanks, Jill. Yey, that's wonderful to know. It would be great to have you!

Yes, we should be talking about mental health and self-care, too.

Hope you are doing well also. See you this Thursday!

Jill Langhus
Jul 22
Jul 22

You're welcome! Thank you:-)

Okay. Yes, I'm doing well, thanks. I hope you and your family are, too!?

Veronica Ngum Ndi
Jul 17
Jul 17

Dear Karen
Thanks for sharing with us this beautiful write-up that summaries the Thriving Thursday.You are a great Ambassador.This was a beautiful topic we had and I have learned a lot from your summary
In Sisterhood
Veronica Ngum

Hello, sis Veronica,

I enjoyed the topic! Thanks for your kind words. You are a great Ambassador, too! You go out of your way to help women with disabilities during these trying times. So much love and respect for you, sis.

Hope to see you this Thursday!

Paulina Nayra
Jul 21
Jul 21

See you on Thursday :-)

Tamarack Verrall
Jul 17
Jul 17

Dear Karen,
You have described it so well. These meetings are such a special time, these moments when we can see each other, learn together, get to know each other, feel that energy that we are all extending outward as much as we can, feel it as that energy there with us in our meeting.
Deep sisterhood,

Thank you for your encouragement, dear Tam. I appreciate you so much for giving all of you as an Encourager, Ambassador, and World Pulse sister. Thank you for transcribing!

Looking forward this Thursday to be hosted by YOU! Yey!

Jul 17
Jul 17

Thank you amazing Karen for sharing .

You're welcome, dear!

Queen Sheba D Cisse
Jul 17
Jul 17

Dear Sister Karen,
This topic is very much and always need to be at the forefront instead of being brushed up under the rug because of cultural stigmas, taboos, shame and embarrassment. I worked in the Mental Health field for over ten years. Mental health issues are more common than you think and in fact doctors are diagnosing patients everyday with some sort of mental behavior disorder related health concern. Treatment is ongoing and the good news is that today we have developed various healthy related options and treatments options to work with our beloved individuals. Keep talking and sharing this very important topic.

Mama Queen

Hello, Mama Queen,

Wow, thank you for adding insights to this topic. Yes, let us normalize discussion on mental health to break stigmas.

I would love to read from you about your experience as someone who worked in the mental field. Please write those stories!

Queen Sheba D Cisse
Jul 21
Jul 21

Thanks dear karen, as time permits I hopefully will, indeed!
Thanks to you all for speaking out and sharing about this important topic.

Mama Queen

Jul 18
Jul 18

Good sharing tho. The output taken from the session is actually very important. Depression and anxiety not only for parents with special needs kids. Working moms with kids also facing the same.

Hello, Lemonadelemon,

Welcome to World Pulse! It's great to have you here. Thanks for your comment. Motherhood is a challenging role. I would love to read stories from you especially on the working mothers facing anxiety and depression. Looking forward to it!

Jul 18
Jul 18

Wow thank you for documenting this... amazing ka gyud!!! Favorite subject :)

Thank you, dear Mae Ann. I hope you sign up as MC, Executive Producer, and Presenter. You're a pro! Looking forward to it!

Jul 31
Jul 31

Thanks, Karen, yes soon :)

Paulina Nayra
Jul 18
Jul 18

I love Thriving Thursdays. Whoever thought of this idea deserves a big big hug from all of us who look forward to Thursdays, a day to recharge intellectually, socially, emotionally and spiritually.
And I feel fine when I see you there Karen coz I feel a bit worried when you aren't around. So better be present always for my mental health :-)

Huggs. Amping all the time.

Awww, you're so sweet, Ate Pauline. I have to deactivate my FB account as a self-care.

I feel happy to see you on Thriving Thursdays, too, even when you experience Christmas lights internet.

Hugs! Amping pud kanunay, Ate!

Jul 20
Jul 20

Dear Karen,

Thank you for your story.
I am very touched by Marie Angele Abanga's hard work for caring after the mental health persons. May our Lord bless all of you.

Best regards

Fabienne Muvunyi

Thank you, sis Fabiene,

Yes, sis Marie is a tough one. She helps a lot of people with mental health challenges.

May God bless you, too!

Jul 21
Jul 21

Hi Karen, thank you for sharing this. Mental Health Matters is so important. A member of my family is schizophrenic and with everything covid happening, this was another mental stressor for him. Thank you for raising awareness around mental health and speaking about it. It helps break down the barriers

Hello, Louise,

Welcome to World Pulse! I'm glad to know someone from Ireland.

Oh, dear. This pandemic might be really hard on him. I'm curious about schizophrenia. How's it like for your family? That must be tough for you, too. I hope you can write a post about it or about mental health in general. Let's normalize this topic to break stigmas.

Please stay safe. Welcome again to our growing sisterhood!

Isata Kabia
Jul 24
Jul 24

This is something we really don’t give too much attention to in African countries: mental health. Coupled up with the view and distorted expectation of the ‘strong black women’ it really reeks havoc with our desire and ability to ask for help as women. Thank you for sharing and for bringing attention to this issue, at a time when many are suffering in silence during this pandemic.

Hello, Isata, thank you for adding input on the discussion. Let us normalize the conversation about mental health to break stigmas and to understand those who are silently suffering with mental health challenges.

Thank you for your encouragement. :)

Regina Afanwi Young
Jul 27
Jul 27

Hello Karen how are you doing my dear? Thanks for the great write up. Was particularly touched about the point on raising children with special needs. My first child lives with a disability and sometimes am really depressed especially as we have little or no opportunities for them in our society. I have watched my son grown up into a young man and wandering everyday what will become of him in future.
Will like to read more of your write ups dear.
Please stay safe and remain blessed

Hello, dear Regina,

I've been feeling fatigued these days. What is the disability of your firstborn, dear? Mine has special needs, too. It feels like we're taking care of a big baby. Hugs, dear. It is a tough life, but you are tougher. I admire you for helping people outside your family. That's amazing. Keep it up!

Regina Afanwi Young
Jul 29
Jul 29

Karen my dear, Really sorry to hear you are feeling fatigue. Please take a day or two off work and rest. Done that before and that really worked on me.
My son Faith is 16 years old and autistic . He is such an amazing boy. Yes dear its a tough life but as you said we must get going.
Thanks for the complements Karen.
Stay blessed and please get some rest

Thank you for your concern, dear.

Oh, wow! You're amazing! How do you do everything? Organizing help for people with disabilities and taking care of your autistic son?

I have so many questions to ask you, dear. Will do that in a private message. So much love and respect for you, dear. Salute to you!

I will....after the Encourager Party later. Hope to see you!

Jul 30
Jul 30

Hi Karen, this is a nice way to discuss pressing issues especially with the pandemic before us. Sometimes it can be overwhelming tending to someone with mental health challenges in the lockdown. But when we talk about it, it gives room for ideas. I do hope to be part of one of these thriving Thursdays and who knows, maybe we could discuss sexual health especially as the pandemic creates room for overwhelming needs.

Hello, Suzan dear,

Yes, it is! That's true. Let's normalize the conversation about mental health issues.

Thriving Thursdays are the World Pulse Ambassadors' weekly learning journey. I will let you know if the application for Ambassadors is open soon. I'm glad you're interested. Will definitely keep you in mind, dear. :)

Aug 07
Aug 07

It's really helpful for sharing your note, thank you! Yes, mental health does matter and becomes more prevalent, everywhere in the world under global pandemic!

I find that Thrilling Thursday sharing and topic always greate and useful To help other sisters just a thought pop up in my mind, it would be great to have a dedicated tab for the recaps/script recording on all Thrilling Thursday, so all others can fetch them easily as self-learning materials.

Hello, Vanora,

Thank you for your supportive comment. That’s true.

Thriving Thursdays is a weekly virtual meeting for World Pulse Ambassadors. To know more, please check this link:

The videos are recorded and are available on YouTube. You may check them out!