Take a break from social media.
First Lady Liza Araneta Marcos is advocating for more sports and physical activities in schools in a bid to enhance mental wellness of students.
Attending a recent mental health awareness event in California, Marcos mentioned the proposals to increase physical education credits in schools as well as require students to stand up and walk after 15 minutes of sitting.
The First Lady, a law professor, made the pitch for a digital detox amid concerns that excessive use of social media could be bad for a person’s mental wellbeing.
The mental health forum was hosted by US First Lady Jill Biden at the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California last week.
“Speaking of interaction, in the Philippines, there’s actually a proposal to increase the credits of physical education because you talk about not socializing, but you know act when there is sports, physical education,” Marcos said during the Apple forum.
“More than that, there is another proposal every 15 minutes the students are required to walk in the class, because they supposed to be grounded. That’s gonna be a proposal. It’s one thing to do the tech thing, it’s another one to do the natural thing,” she added.
The forum covering mental health and social media was also attended by US First Lady Jill Biden, Apple CEO Tim Cook, South Korean First Lady Kim Keon Hee, Papua New Guinea’s Rachael Marape, Malaysia’s Dr. Wan Azizah binti Wan Ismael, and U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy. Also present was K-pop superstar Rosé of Blackpink who opened up about her own mental health struggles.
The discussion delved into the impact of social media on people especially the youth, crucial need for human connection, and coping mechanisms during the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted.
Earlier at the forum, Marcos didn’t shy away from addressing the dark side of social media. She expressed concern about the rising suicide rate in the Philippines mostly attributed to pervasive influence of social platforms. She also acknowledged the detrimental effects of online bashing on a person’s mental health.
“As far as Philippines concerned, the suicide rate has increased a lot because of social media. And Filipinos, we love the cell phone, we love the selfie, we love everything. I think social media plays a role in this. At least in my country, they love seeing what they eat for breakfast, lunch, who they are with. When they are bashed, they become mentally unstable,” she said.
“Suicide has increased in our country, and a lot has to do with mental instability. That’s why I’m pleased to be here and listen to what people has to say,” she said.
The mental health discussion was part of several events hosted by the US First Lady for the spouses of Asia-Pacific leaders in California on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum last week.
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