Business & Mental Health

How We Can Help Others Cope In Times of Disaster

On December 16, 2021, super typhoon Odette (international name: Rai) lashed out with strong winds and heavy rainfall throughout different parts of Visayas and Mindanao. Alongside widespread floodings, food, clean water, means of communication, and electricity were in scarce supply. Moreover, in the aftermath of the storm, lives, livelihoods, and homes were lost in the blink of an eye. In fact, recent reports from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRMMC) state that over 4.8 million have been affected, especially in hard-hit areas like Leyte, Bohol, Cebu, Negros Oriental, and Siargao.

When natural calamities like these strike, physiological needs like food, water, shelter, and clothing are of utmost importance. However, beyond ensuring basic needs and safety needs are met, there lies another reality: the need for connection and emotional support. With many experiencing a heightened level of distress, how, then, can we be there for others?

One of the ways we can help is by providing Psychological First Aid (PFA). This is a method that aims to promote safety, stabilises survivors of disasters, and connects them to help and resources. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to be a mental health professional to provide PFA. This is a skill that can be learned by anyone from all walks of life.

For instances like these, Mind You has prepared a quick guide that you can use if you are in a position to help victims during emergencies, calamities, and other disaster-related events. This manual builds your capacity to prepare and respond to mental health situations of distressed survivors, so you can be a safe space for those in need. Inside the manual, you can find the basics of how to provide psychological first aid, the do’s and don’ts, and what can be done after PFA, among others.

Download the full manual below. Available in English and Bisaya.


Sleep Hygiene 101: How to Start Sleeping Better

These days, there’s a common notion that sleep is for the weak. On the contrary, however, a large body of research shows that sleep deprivation makes us weaker mentally, emotionally, and physically. In fact, some of its benefits include balancing your emotional state, promoting creative ability, improving your focus, and aiding in the formation of long-term memory.

Caffeine and sleep

How dependent are you on your coffee to get through the day? You might have to cut it down if you want to have quality sleep.

Research shows that the average time for the body to absorb just 50% of caffeine is approximately 5 hours. However, since people have different metabolism rates, this can go as high as 9.5 hours. Many experts believe that you should stop drinking your coffee 6 hours before bedtime.

Tips, Tricks, and what to avoid

Limit electronic media and other excessive blue light exposure

Too much blue light can keep you awake when your body needs to wind down. It’s best to turn off your gadgets before bedtime, but if it can’t be helped, at least set it to sleep mode.

Lower the temperature of your room

This helps signal your body that it’s time to sleep and keeps you in a relaxed state. You can also do some meditation before bedtime to calm your mind further.

Dim the lights

Catching some Z’s with the lights off or significantly reduced brightness helps you facilitate your body’s circadian rhythms better, as it sends a critical signal that it’s time for some shut-eye.

Exercise regularly

Exercising helps increase sleep quality by generating physical fatigue and relieving stress, thus reducing the time it takes you to fall asleep. Just make sure to avoid exercise an hour before bedtime.

Keep a regular schedule

Maintain a regular bedtime and wake-up schedule as much as you can, as it helps you set your body’s internal clock.

If you’re prone to having active racing thoughts before bedtime, which in turn, affects your sleeping schedule, it might be time to release those pent-up thoughts or emotions. Rest assured, licensed mental health professionals can help you make sense of your thought patterns in a judgment-free space. Book your therapy session here.

Business & Mental Health

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women: The Shadow Pandemic

This International Day for Elimation of Violence Against Women has been a recurring event on the 25th of November since 1961, as a day to promote awareness of gender-based violence worldwide. Historically, this day began as a way to honor the Mirabal sisters who were murdered in 1960 for the very reason that they were fighting for their rights. Since then, this event acts as a universal call towards continuously improving the services and resources towards victims of gender-based violence.

 “Cases of domestic violence continue to rise. Under the shadow of the pandemic, reproductive health services have been hampered, and lockdowns have trapped survivors at home with their abusers, with little in terms of a lifeline to the outside world.” - Vice President Leni Roberdo in a broadcasted message in March for International Women’s Day

In every country, being a woman has different experiences that come along with it. In the Philippines, the traditional outlook of what a woman is defined as continues to be outdated and has come to affect Filipinas at a greater scale. Moreover, violence against women has now been dubbed as the ‘shadow pandemic’, growing alongside the Covid-19 pandemic. Its widespread effect has left women and girls suffering due to the lack of prioritization for their wellbeing. For instance, the shortage of domestic violence shelters and helplines has pushed their needs further away amidst quarantines and lockdowns. This has prompted government leaders such as Joy Belmonte to open their gender-based violence protection center called Bahay Kanlungan in Quezon City to those fleeing oppressive households during this time.

To put things into perspective, the USAID reports that 2.5 million women in the Philippines are affected by gender-based violence, with the numbers possibly correlated to the lockdowns brought on by the pandemic. In addition, President Rodrigo Duterte has stated that there were 2,183 cases of violence against women that have been reported. However, these numbers don’t account for unreported cases.

Furthermore, a Social Weather Survey (SWS) released in February 2021 shows that 25% of Filipinos nationwide shared how violent actions towards women is one of the most prevalent problems experienced during the pandemic. The survey stated that 11% of women experience physical violence, while 7% go through emotional violence and sexual violence. In Manila, the numbers show a higher percentage, with a total of about 29% experiencing domestic abuse.

These statistics show that this rampant issue clearly needs more attention than it is currently being given.

Today let us take this time to recognize who we are past the traumas we experienced in life. For the victims of violence, know that you do not have to go through your hardships alone, talk to someone you feel you can trust and speak to them openly, whether that be a loved one or a mental health professional. It may be hard to open up at first, but do remember that when you are able to talk to your trusted circle or go through psychotherapy, a huge weight can be lifted off of your shoulders. If talking to someone is hard to do at the start, you can begin by writing down all the emotions you have been bottling up inside. At times, it may be difficult to voice out those emotions, so having an alternative outlet could help you release your negative emotions, traumas and thoughts.

If you know someone who is experiencing abuse or violence at home, offer your support by listening without judgment. You may also lead them to helpful resources or connect them to communities they can treat as their safe space. In times that they are not ready to talk to anyone, you could provide them with educational resources about gender-based violence so they learn more about how their current situation relates to different people worldwide, and how they can work towards healing themselves holistically.

You can also ask them to consider creating a safety plan, one which could help the victim be prepared in any case she may need to call for help. This can include information such as places to go and numbers to call if they are feeling unsafe. Remember that abuse can take place in different settings, so it is important to prepare for different scenarios.

This is a grave call for all of us that though we have accomplished notable gains for women in our country, there is still so much left to be done to truly create a progressive change in upholding the rights of women and letting go of harmful gender-based norms. Mind You is firmly committed to the empowerment of women and stands in solidarity against violence and abuse.

To report cases of domestic violence:

Philippine Commission on Women (PCW)

  • (02) 8733-6611
  • 09178671907

For police and investigation assistance:

Philippine National Police

  • PNP Hotline: (02) 8723-0401
  • Aleng Pulis Hotline: 09197777377

For legal assistance:

Public Attorney’s office

  • Hotline: (02) 8929-9436 local 106, 107, or 159 (local “0” for operator)
  • (+62) 9393233665
  • Email address:

A directory of women & child protection services per region

Mind You aims to transform our culture and empower people to take control of their mental health and live more fulfilled lives. We take pride in lifting away the stigma, lowering counseling costs and providing increased access to mental health care for all Filipinos.

For bite-sized content of our blog posts, follow us on our social media pages, on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & LinkedIn @mindyoumhs.


The Benefits of A Good Night’s Sleep

Sleeping is a complex process that involves a series of stages from light sleep (stages 1 and 2), to deep sleep (stage 3), and finally, rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. A good night’s sleep means cycling through all these stages successfully every night for our body and mind to be restored fully.

The ingredients of healthy sleep

  • Between 7 to 9 hours of sleep
  • Relatively uninterrupted sleep
  • A consistent sleep schedule matching your natural circadian rhythms (Circadian rhythm is the integration between your body’s internal clock and environmental cues)

A good night’s sleep is key to good physical, emotional, and mental health. Let’s take a closer look at some of its benefits:

Balances your emotional state

Sleep deprivation has been shown to significantly affect the amygdala, that little yet powerful part in the brain that plays an important part in emotional processing. Notice how you tend to be more irritable and panicky when you lack a good night’s sleep? That’s the heightened amygdala talking. Healthy sleep enables you to regulate your emotions better.

Helps promote creative ability

It’s not just that sudden burst of inspiration that comes from colourful dreams occurring in the REM stage. Sleep has been found to improve creative problem solving, idea formation, and increased insight into figuring out solutions.

Improves your focus

Researchers have found that lack of sleep hinders sustained attention. This is one of the reasons why you tend to feel foggy-brained when you’re sleep-deprived. Establishing healthy sleep patterns helps you pay attention to detail, enables your learning muscle, and enhances short-term brain function, which are all key ingredients to turning in quality work output.

Better memory

Another major benefit of sleep is in the formation of long-term memory, making distant memories stronger and easier to recall. This could include anything from occasions to important skills you’ve picked up over the years. And because quality sleep is associated with the removal of ‘waste’ accumulated in the brain, it can also help prevent dementia in the long run.

Book a session with one of Mind You’s licensed psychologists to get the support that you may need.