Diocesan News


Ma. Cynthia B. Sanchez, MD

The Diocesan Commission on Health Care conducted the second batch of Training for Basic Counseling Skills for Non-Professional Counselors last February 3 & 10, 2024 at the Bishop’s Residence.  There were 63 attendees out of which 56 participants from 25 parishes and 1 college  completed the two-day training.  The objective of the training was to reinforce the Parochial Mental Health Program and to start it in parishes that have none.  After the training, the participants are now called “Peer Facilitators” and they should  be able to talk to and assist clients with mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, fear, or even suicidal tendencies.  The training was conducted by Mr. Jun Arive, a clinical psychologist. The first batch, composed of 39 peer facilitators  from 20 parishes, were trained in February 18 & 25 last year.  

Mental health disorders remain to be a growing concern particularly among the youth.  Parishes are encouraged to establish a Mental Health Program that would help raise awareness and address the issue. Counseling is only one of the many ways. Quoting Fr. Dale Dakila, convenor of the "Silver Lining Project", “We should create in the parish  an open, welcoming and hospitable environment that would promote good mental health among church volunteers.”  Proactive management thru counseling and  integration of mental health in church activities are essential  in this collective effort for a healthier,  sound parish. The Commission on Health Care shall conduct a regular monitoring and evaluation of the effectiveness of the program.

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