Sometimes we say we’re fine but the reality is: we’re not. Whether we’ve dealt with mental illness or not, all of us will face periods in our lives that are often beyond our control. These moments devour us emotionally and there are times when we feel like there’s no way out. 
 

For the month of June, STAIL.PH wants you to know that mental health matters. Taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical health. In trying times with COVID-19, anxiety and depression are at their peak. It’s hard to feel normal in situations that aren’t.
 

STAIL.PH wants to help in normalizing conversations on mental health. This #FacetimeShoot called “HOME” puts Andrea Brillantes on the cover and narrates a story most of us leave untold. If you’re suffering from mental illness, talk to us. We’d love to help.

SENIOR EDITOR

JASMINE GAGARIN

She finds herself in the comfort of her home under her warm blue sheets in search of her peace of mind.

 “Mental health is important. Mayaman ka nga, you have everything you need, but are you mentally okay? Are you happy? Are you satisfied? Important po talaga para sakin ang mental health so sana po alagaan natin ang sarili natin at unahin po natin ang health natin.”

How are you? 
 

Would you smile and give your default answer? You’ll say you’re “fine” but wonder why this simple question leads you to piled thoughts and opens the usually uncomfortable topic.
 

We are all struggling with the uneasy reality that was intrusively presented to us. Many struggles to cope. Some are in the depths of despair. But for those who can afford it, they are given the opportunity to be strong. And sure, we try to convince ourselves by saying “I’m Okay.” Mental Illness is not a choice. It’s not a character flaw. We’re not nuts, crazy, maniac, or a wacko. Most definitely, we’re not making it up.
 

With the reportedly significant increases in the symptoms of anxiety and depression related to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s about time to strengthen the normalization of conversations about mental health. It’s real and every individual matter.

She protects herself from invading hunches with a fiery dress and a sound mind.

As our minds finally grasp our current reality, we are given a choice to keep the fight going no matter our difficulties and circumstances. The mental and emotional challenges thrust upon us are things we can overcome. It might take a while for things to return to any semblance of normalcy. It might not ever be the same when the pandemic ends. If it ever ends. But we humans have the magical ability to adapt to any given situation. This pandemic provides us a new “norm” for us to adapt to.

 “Totoo naman na ang self-love ay hindi makukuha overnight. It takes time talaga so please just don’t be hard on yourself”

 “If there is more room for love in this world, each and everyone’s lives would matter more. I stand with love because when there is love, stuff like freedom, equality, happiness, and care will follow right through.”

For those who are fortunate enough to convince themselves, there is
hope ahead. We can adapt to this new norm as we await the return of our lives before the pandemic.
 

Things are bleak, but not all is dark
 

Cling to hope when you find it. Embrace your inner peace when you can. It’s easy to fall into despair, but there is hope around us. As long as we keep fighting, then together–
 

We’ll be okay.

On Andrea Brillantes: Red PPE-Inspired Couture Dress by AJ Javier (email: ajjavierph@gmail.com | Instagram: @ajjavierph). Jewelry provided by Stylist.

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Special Thanks To

Artist: Louie Romantico. Photographer: Charles Rodulfo. Video Producer: Vincent Sy. Assistant Video Producer: Gabe Gavina. Web Developer: Andrea Dominique Dawal. Designer: AJ Javier. Stylist: Jasmine Gagarin and Ian Vill. Hair and Beauty: Artist. Accessories: STAIL Team. Food: Titto’s Latin BBQ and Brew. Special Thanks To Andrea Brillantes And Her Management.