DOST-PCHRD to hold a public forum on spirituality in mental health research

As a concluding activity to the series of roundtable discussions (RTDs) with different faith-based leaders, mental health care providers, and researchers on Spirituality and Religiosity in Mental Health of the Philippines, the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD) will hold a public forum entitled, Spirituality in Philippine Mental Health Research and Practice,” on December 14, 2022, at the Philippine International Convention Center, Pasay City.  

“With the passing of the Mental Health Law last 2018, much-needed attention was directed to mental health, one of which is the inclusion of Spirituality as the 4th dimension in the now biopsychosocial-spiritual model by the Philippine Council for Mental Health (PCMH). We at PCHRD recognize the need to include this in our research agenda to expand the scope of understanding of mental health.” -Dr. Jaime C. Montoya, DOST-PCHRD Executive Director.

Through technical presentations and panel discussions, the public forum aims to inform various stakeholders about the results of the RTDs, and open conversations about innovative ideas in incorporating methods of spirituality as a future part of therapy and recovery not only for people with mental conditions but as a means of protection for all people. The forum also aims to share the identified research topics on spirituality that would be included in the National Mental Health Research Agenda (NMHRA), in the hopes that the results of spirituality research topics identified from this activity could be used in enhancing policies and improving mental health care services nationally and globally.

“We are grateful to the PCHRD Mental Health Research Advisory Group (MH-RAG) for their unwavering dedication and commitment to work with us in identifying topics on spirituality and religiosity that should be researched on and be incorporated in the National Mental Health Research Agenda. Without your help, these activities would never be possible,” added Dr. Montoya.

Speakers invited include Dr. Michael Tan, Professor Emeritus in Anthropology of the University of the Philippines – Diliman; Sister Mary John Mananzan, Vice President for External Affairs of St. Scholastica’s College; Dr. Ma. Lourdes “Honey” Carandang, Clinical Psychologist and Founder of Mindfulness, Love, and Compassion Institute for Psychosocial Services, Inc.; and Dr. Allan Bernardo, Distinguished University Professor, De La Salle University – Manila. Other members of the PCHRD MH-RAG who are also experts in the various fields of mental health, including Professor Emeritus Dr. Lourdes Ignacio, Dr. Arsenio Alianan Jr, and Dr. Carl Abelardo Antonio, will also take part in the program. 

After the presentations, PCHRD’s team handling the Mental Health R&D Program will also share the R&D Priority topics for next year’s call for proposals. 

For those who are interested in watching the event online, you may view the Livestream on the PCHRD Facebook Page or join via Zoom. To register, please click this link.


Authors: Dr. Sarah Jimenez, Dr. Lourdes Ignacio, Mr. Jemuel Joshua Austria, and Mr. Cris Pantaleon

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