Going through deeply distressing events such as forced isolation, losing a loved one, physical and verbal abuse, natural disasters, and other extraordinary experiences shatters our sense of security. These may leave us struggling with emotions that have long-term physical and mental effects on leading to trauma.
Recovering from trauma may take a while, but Dr. Gina A. Alfonso, Founder and Clinical Director of MAGIS Creative Spaces, assured those suffering from stressful circumstances that “You are not alone. We are all in this together.”
Dr. Alfonso, a mental health clinician, who also experienced trauma herself in the past, was the resource speaker at Globe and the Department of Education (DepEd)’s TAYO! Naman! (Tulong, Alaga, Yakap at Oras para sa mga Tagapagtaguyod ng Edukasyon) webinar Episode 5: Healing from Past Hurts and Traumas.
During the webinar, Dr. Alfonso enlightened teachers and non-teaching personnel about trauma – what it is, how one responds to it, how it affects the brain, and different ways to recover from trauma.
“What happens with trauma is sometimes we think it is just stored in our brain, but it is actually absorbed in our body. It affects our nervous system. Our nervous system goes on hyper-alert. We are experiencing life like it’s not safe. Everywhere we go, we feel like there’s danger kahit wala. That’s because our nervous system was affected by the incident. Ang importante is to be really aware. Ano kaya ang dahilan. Ano kaya ang practices na pwede kong gawin para ‘yung stress ng trauma mawala? It’s really about learning more about the nervous system,” Dr. Alfonso said.
While everyone has their own traumatic experiences, she noted that these have different effects on each individual. Some people recover fast, and some do not.
“We are all experiencing distress differently. What is most critical in our healing process is self-compassion and kindness towards ourselves and others, and a lot of patience—realizing that we are not alone. We can learn from others and their journeys. And that if we take care of ourselves, we will be better equipped to care for others,” she said.
During the ensuing panel discussion facilitated by Raffy Berina from EB Magalona National High School, Dr. Alfonso mentioned that trauma could also affect one’s cognitive ability. If a student is going through trauma, educators can help by practicing a socio-emotional approach. Self-compassion, kindness, and patience towards oneself and others are crucial to recovering from trauma.
“One of the things that is important when working with people who have had traumatic incident is to hold judgment and be compassionate. Second is to let them know nandito lang ako. Sometimes we don’t need to give solutions,” she said.
The speaker left the audience with the ABCD of trauma to guide them in coping with it.
A – Ask for help from somebody you trust to build a strong support system.
B – Body doesn’t lie. If your body needs something, pay attention. Remember that our body and brain can heal.
C – Compassion and patience to ourselves, our loved ones, and those we are working with are key to healing.
D – Dance. Move. Engage in the arts and play. These are the best way to self-regulate, and when you’re consistent, you will see you’re on your way to recovery.
E – Every micro-step we make towards healing is important and worth celebrating.
TAYO Naman! is an online Mental Health and Psychosocial Support program designed to help teachers, non-teaching personnel, and parents learn about self-care, wellness, and resiliency.
The 14-part webinar series is led by the DepEd Disaster Risk Reduction Management Services (DepEd-DRRMS) and the Bureau of Human Resource and Organizational Development-Employee Welfare Division (BHROD-EWD) in collaboration with Globe’s Global Filipino Teachers Series on Psychosocial Support Services, Philippine Mental Health Association and Magis Creative Spaces.
The latest webinar featured panelists from the DepEd Division of Negros Occidental, namely, Angelito Yanson Jr. from Maranon Elementary School, Cinderella Diansin from Minoyan Elementary School, Loje Lingco from Pandan Elementary School, and Riezel Jan Sosas from the Division Office of Negros Occidental.
The next episode on June 25 will be about “Resilience through Positive Psychology: Emerging and Keeping up from Adversities,” to be spearheaded by the DepEd Nueva Ecija Division.
Globe strongly supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals such as UN SGD No. 3 on good health and well-being and UN SDG No. 4 on inclusive and equitable quality education for all. The company is also committed to supporting the 10 United Nations Global Compact principles.
To learn more about how to create a #GlobeofGood, visit www.globe.com.ph/about-us/sustainability.html.