Feature Articles

A Call for Hope, An Act of Change

The video above is created by Vince Serrano for a competition launched by NGF last 2016 entitled, “Hope in 40 seconds.” 


Hope is only one call away.


An act is all we need, the ripple effect will follow soon.               

According to the World Health Organization, Filipinos suffer from depression as much as they suffer from hypertension and cardiac arrest. Tourists may have dubbed the Philippines as one of the happiest country in the world but the mere neglect for mental health issues here in the country is alarming. Jean Goulbourn, founder of the Natasha Goulbourn Foundation, is taking the lead on changing the scene for people with depression as she launched the foundation on 2007.

Sprout of a new beginning   

The foundation’s humble beginnings were composed of simple lectures for the youth and overseas Filipino workers and the Be Happy movement where people can freely share their thoughts about depression and their healing process. Jean Goulbourn admitted during that time that it is hard to come up with more projects and events due to lack of fund and support from the government. Private companies have been telling her in the face that the issue she is advocating is ‘too dramatic’ but she still pushed through with her goal to educate the Filipino community about depression and its effect on a person’s life.

However, this issue is not something that should be regarded as too dramatic. Although Goulbourn had been very open about the reason why she put up the foundation, the story behind is still something that would deeply move anyone.

Hope is alive. Jean Goulbourn, president and founder of the Natasha Goulbourn Foundation (Photo from Rappler)

The foundation’s name was named after her daughter, Natasha Goulbourn, who had sadly left the world because of depression. Goulbourn decided to name it after her daughter since she felt the need to create something her daughter would surely want her to do.

It took her years to actually recover from the pain of losing her precious daughter but now that she is helping in breaking the stigma surrounding people who suffer from depression, she is sure her daughter would have been very proud of what she had become as a mother and as a mental health advocate.

Cultivating change

NGF, now sporting a partnership with the Department of Health and with different private organizations and companies all over the country reaches a wide range of Filipinos to shed light on the issue about depression and how it often leads to suicide.

In fact, the foundation together with DOH and their affiliates have recently launched a crisis prevention hotline called HOPE LINE which caters to the needs of people who wanted to harm themselves because they feel like they don’t have someone who would listen and actually understand what they are going through. The project had been running for months and it is being handled by top psychologists and volunteers who are trained and educated on how to properly communicate with people with depression.

Moreover, for helping someone who is in the verge of hurting themselves, HOPE LINE is always one call away. Everyone must save the HOPE LINE number as their speed dial in case someone close to them needs to seek help. The person-in-charge will do everything to help the caller and secure them with the necessary guidelines so they would know what to do in trying to help solve the problem. It is important for them to know that there are other people who are willing to talk to them and help them.

After all, mental health is not just a single person’s problem, it concerns the entire world because even if it’s not really obvious in the first glance, the problem lies beyond and it is something that should really be taken seriously. People who have mental health illnesses must know that they are not alone and there are people who are ready to provide them support no matter what.

Today, if you feel like not getting out of bed because your thoughts were pulling you hard, pick the phone, hope is waiting for you.

One call away. The numbers above are available 24/7 so if you are in need of immediate help, don’t hesitate to call.

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