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How The Live Pure Conference Opened My Eyes More About Mental Health

"We all deserve peace. We all deserve happiness. We all deserve success. At 'yun ang pangako ng Diyos sa bawat buhay natin." 

Over the weekend, the Live Pure Movement–a Catholic pro-life movement–held their Live Pure Conference entitled Break Free. The 10th edition of their conference, Break Free wants to “provide young people an experience of God’s love that leads them to the conviction of continuing to live out the lifestyle of chastity”. According to them, it was inspired by John 8:32, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

But aside from encouraging the youth to live a life of chastity, Break Free also wants to inspire people and allow them to experience true love, freedom, and happiness. Which is why they also produced various videos for their online sessions, featuring experts and personalities who talked about different topics. (Read: Nonie and Shamaine on mental health: ‘Parents should open their minds’)

I attended the Break Free conference without expecting anything to change, but my perspective widened thanks to it. I’m most grateful for the online sessions they had because I was able to learn new things and allowed me to have realizations about my own life. Here is my favorite talk from the online sessions!

Why “Mental Health Matters” Matter

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Photo from Live Pure Movement Facebook

Nowadays, mental health has become a more pressing issue especially with the isolation brought about by the pandemic. But even before COVID-19 changed the world, the “mental health matters” campaign has already been present. It highlights the importance of taking care of one’s mental health, and reminds everyone that just like physical health, mental health is also part of becoming a healthy individual. (Read: 4 Mental Health Conditions You Probably Haven’t Heard Of)

And this is what Dan Alberto, psychology professor at the Our Lady of Fatima University, reiterated in his online session for Break Free. “Mental health is important especially in the lives of the youth,” he said. “We all deserve peace. We all deserve happiness. We all deserve success. At ‘yun ang pangako ng Diyos sa bawat buhay natin.” He then went on to say that while it is what God wants for us, it’s not easily attainable, especially when our mental health is not at its best.

Starting with silence

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Photo from Live Pure Movement Facebook

The professor said that the environment plays a major role in our mental health. “Masyadong maingay at mabilis ang mundo. Ang ingay na ‘to ang dahilan para ikumpara natin ang sarili natin sa iba,” he said. He mentioned that it could result in feeling pressured to do something just because others are doing it. For example, if your friends or people you know drink alcohol, you may start drinking not because you want to but because you don’t want to feel out of place. (Read: Never The Strangers’ Singer Ace Libre Shares 5 Mental Health Thoughts We Can All Relate To)

That’s why, he said, that we should try to silence our minds–remove all pressures, so that we may hear ourselves and realize what we truly want. “Ano nga ba talaga ang gusto mo? At kadalasan, sa katahimikan mo rin maririnig ang gusto ng Diyos [para] sa buhay mo.”

A different perspective

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Photo from Live Pure Movement Facebook

This session made me realize that mental health is not just about taking breaks, resting, and removing the negativity in your life. It’s also about improving how you live your life, knowing which people to surround yourself with, listening to what you actually want for yourself, and most importantly, listening to God’s plans for you because He knows best.

I used to think that my mental health would be alright if I just have “me time” every once in a while. But the online session on mental health helped me discover that there is so much more I can do to take care of it, and that many other factors that I don’t even realize affect my mental health, are present in my life. (Read: Liza Soberano Opens Up About Anxiety, Shares Tips for Good Mental Health)

Break Free was an inspiring and eye-opening weekend activity for me. And I can’t wait to attend the next one!

Check out Live Pure Movement’s advocacy and projects here.

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