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San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan Rep. Florida “Rida” Perez Robes: A Mental Health Advocate

San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan Rep. Florida “Rida” Perez Robes is an advocate for mental health. She's not just a public servant but a person with a good heart. 

“In one public high school in a barangay in our town, 10 students, all teenagers, died of suicide due to mental health issues, in a span of one year. Many of the cases are related to online bullying,” says Rida.

Rida visits different barangays and schools in her town, the biggest in Bulacan, to bring hope among the residents and students. The students are given trainings to make them aware of their healthy responsibilities to themselves. 

“Depression needs to be treated. Early intervention can come in the form of caring. It helps a lot when a depressed individual knows someone cares,” says Rida, who could have been a psychologist had she not shifted to Hotel and Restaurant Management in St. Paul College-Manila.

Recently, Rida, with other lawmakers like Pangasinan Rep. Baby Arenas and Zamboanga Sibugay Rep. Ann Hofer, signed a partnership with Korean-based Sunfull Foundation, an international non-governmental organization that further raises mental health awareness among young individuals and helps combat cyberbullying.

According to Rida, many studies have shown that the Philippines has one of the highest cases of depression in Southeast Asia. “Reports also say that at least 3.3 million Filipinos suffer from depression,” she adds.


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