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UPVTC celebrates community resilience with partner communities

After several months of serving their adopted communities through various projects, UPV Tacloban College (UPVTC) students of Psychology 195 (Special Topics in Psychology: Disaster and Mental Health) organized a culminating activity entitled “Celebrating Community Resilience” on 1 December 2017 at the Multipurpose Building of UPVTC.

Five groups of students presented their accomplishments, which included the conduct of psychological first aid training for barangay leaders and volunteers; implementation of the resilience program called Katatagan; integration of psychosocial awareness into a coastal cleanup; mental health awareness sessions; and other psychosocial activities for children, adolescents, and adults. The group that served the barangay where UPVTC is located (Barangay 2, Jones) successfully lobbied for the passing of a barangay resolution recognizing the importance of mental health during disasters.

Apart from reporting their accomplishments, the Psych 195 students also played video presentations highlighting stories of how their adopted communities recovered after Super Typhoon Yolanda ravaged Tacloban in 2013. Students also shared the challenges and lessons they learned from the project.

Barangays 2 (Jones), 49 (Youngfield), 68 and 69 (Anibong) of Tacloban City and the Yolanda Kids Survivors, Inc. expressed their gratitude to the students for the service they have rendered throughout the semester. Each partner community also received a plaque of appreciation for supporting the project.

The event was a fitting conclusion to “Building Community Resilience,” a pilot service learning project of the Division of Social Sciences’ (DSS) Psych 195 class under DSS Chair Prof. Pierce S. Docena this first semester, academic year 2017-2018.

When the project was launched last 15 September 2017, Prof. Docena explained that Disaster and Mental Health was the first course of its kind being offered in UPVTC and was designed as a service learning course where students will implement mental health and psychosocial support activities in their adopted barangays, with the aim of building community resilience.

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