CONSULTATION AND PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT

I do a number of consultations and talks throughout the country. I talk about mental health - and how people get it wrong. I also talk about psychological and behavioral factors in work, school, and everyday life. I talk about the power of public health and public policy. I speak about the potential of sikoloyihang Pilipino. These talks are informative and useful, sometimes in-your-face, sometimes uncomfortable, and sometimes funny. I do talks in large conventions to rundown conference rooms. I speak quickly. I am practicing speaking slowly. I have been interviewed by CNN and Rappler and have written for the Inquirer and for Rappler. I also do organizational consultations for the public sector and private firms. And I do very serious one-on-one consultations - in a cafe over lunch, in my office over piles of work. I hardly talk in those.

 
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invited talks

I speak in conferences, in corporate and government events, as well as for public and private organizations, including schools and universities. I talk about mental health broadly but also about what matters to those who invite me, such as how to recognize adolescent depression or anxiety, how to manage work-related stress, or how to talk to students with mental health concerns. I talk to physicians and other health care professionals about their understanding of community-based mental health. I talk about oft-ignored topics, including issues of race, social class, and colourism in Filipino culture; gender and sexual orientation biases; the role of technology in promoting as well as hurting mental wellness.

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workshops and seminars

I lead these with one thing in mind: to meet the specific and strategic needs of groups. I actively involve you in the development of these workshops and seminars. Since skill integration is best achieved with frequent practice and immediate, regular feedback, active participation of attendees is maximized and didactic training is minimized. Stress management, anger management and conflict resolution, critical thinking, listening and interpersonal effectiveness, employee counseling and consultation, basic mental health literacy, other human factors psychology in organizational effectiveness - these are a handful of trainings we can do together.

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individual AND ORGANIZATIONAL consultation

Some people suspect that they might be experiencing depression, anxiety or other mental health problems. Others feel ineffective at work, wonder why they cannot seem to hold a long-term relationship, or want to shake off thoughts about the past. Some say they think or feel 'something' but do not quite know what it is. They see me for individual consultation. These are one to two (rarely more) private face-to-face, 1-hr long meetings where we together think through what you are experiencing. Consultation is not therapy, though it might offer some relief. My goal for these meetings are two: (a) to help you get a better sense of what might be happening; and (b) to decide on next-steps, which might include a referral to another mental health professional or other longer-term help.

Some organizations wish to improve their effectiveness. They come to me because of health-related and human factors. These client-driven consultations might be as straightforward as providing expert information. Some require higher-level collaboration on more complex management challenges, including redefining an organizational problem or building consensus around a shared solution. While we can agree on where and how you wish to move forward, I also do not step away from providing your organization with opinions or recommendations that are potentially hard to hear. Central to these consultations is my relationship with you. An explicit discussion of my engagement with your organization and of its scope is necessary. The management content is easy. I instead emphasize human relationships as well as the interpersonal processes and skills necessary to reach our shared goals.

 

MEDIA PUBLICATIONS

 
 

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Thank you for your patience.

AN Open letter to parents: your LGBTQ+ kids are alright

Take your time, but not too long. Because the longer you delay listening to your child, the longer you'll miss out on knowing what an amazing human being you raised. You did nothing wrong. They are beautiful. You might not have done everything right, but there is nothing wrong with your child. They're alright.

- Rappler, June 11, 2019

LIES WE TELL OUR STUDENTS

Joy does not have to be a by-product of hard work. It can be central to it. It is not something that only happens at the end of a final exam, at graduation, or at the start of a new job. Happiness need not be circumscribed to a particular moment or conditional to a specific deliverable. We can feel happy before, throughout, and long after – and independent of – all these things.

- Rappler, May 21, 2019

worshipping the false idols of public health

Crucial public health decisions are made by health professionals with a vested interest in treating disease but whose medical training lacks the health systems thinking required in preventing it. Working to improve the health of the public is not the same as practicing the principles underlying it.

- Rappler, April 27, 2019

mental health is not special

We cannot reasonably expect to normalize mental health and well-being but treat it as separate or different. Our mental health research culture cannot thrive if we see depression or anxiety as specifically different from other research topics we wish to explore. For as long as we see mental health as special, our stigma wins.

- Rappler, March 31, 2019

why i want to leave up—and why i might stay

An efficient, effective work environment is not “American,” it is not “Western.” We all deserve – and are entitled to – a supportive place to work. Because work is not just about earning money. We can count ourselves most fortunate when we are doing something meaningful and enjoyable.

- Rappler, February 26, 2019

the rise of filipino pop psychology

This ought to be a time when sikolohiyang Pilipino leaps forward. Instead, indigenous psychology is being pushed further back. We are losing a chance to self-correct decades of missed opportunities and to avoid the mistakes of the past. You can bet pop psychology will exploit that.

- Rappler, January 26, 2019

i spent P159,088 on grab

And I would do it all over again. My choice is afforded by privilege. It reeks of our fast-growing consumption culture and can even be questionably elitist. It is a shortcut for those who take advantage of venture capitalism at the expense of mom-and-pop workers. However, I feel healthier, less stressed and get more work done.

- Daily Inquirer, January 19, 2019

bad policies, good politics

The research evidence does not support institutionalizing the death penalty or lowering the age of criminal responsibility. They do not reduce crime. They do more harm than good. So why are policymakers proposing these changes to existing legislation? Because it’s good politics.

- Daily Inquirer, January 17, 2017