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Saturday, October 8, 2016

Hope in 40 Seconds

Life is precious.

The Natasha Goulbourn Foundation (NGF), a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people fight off depression has launched a video-making contest last June. There are over 20 videos submitted and it was trimmed down to 3 which was shown during the awarding ceremonies last October 6 in Greenbelt 3 cinema in observance of the National Mental Health Awareness Month.

Vince Serrano's 40 second animated digital video entitled "Companion," won the top prize as well as the People's Choice Award. It is a story of a lonely boy who almost succumbed to the lure of death but received a second chance at life from a beacon of hope.

"Although I heard a lot of suicide cases when I was still in college, I didn't put much thought on them until I decided to take on the challenge of doing an animation for NGF. I had to research about mental health and that was when I realized that it is actually a hidden epidemic, a real issue which needs our attention. This further inspired me to do my best so that in my own little way, I would be able to help other people," Vince Serrano said.

"We received a number of exceptional submissions but Companion stood out among them with its very clear message of desperation and hope. Through this video which will be distributed via social media and select Ayala Cinemas, we are confident that we can reach out to more people and provide proper intervention to those who need assistance, said Jean Goulbourn, President of NGF.

According to World Health Organization, there is an alarming rate of suicide cases especially among 15-29 years old around the world. A life is lost to suicide every 40 seconds. Depression is also a predominant cause of illness and disability for both boy and girls aged 10 to 19. Another reason for suicide amongst young people is they experienced being heartbroken.

The campaign is being supported by leading telecommunications company Globe Telecom, the Department of Health, and the UP JMA, a university-wide student organization which adopted the campaign as an organization project called SPARK: The Movement, to promote healthy lifestyle and to spread hope among the country's youth.

"Globe is a long-time partner of NGF in providing the information and communications technology infrastructure for HOPELINE. Being an ICT company, Globe also believes that it is its duty to protect and educate the people on the impact of technology. Through the video, we hope that we can also prevent young people from taking their lives due to cyber bullying which causes a lot of pressure and stress," said Fernando Esguerra, Globe Director for Citizenship.

Globe currently runs the Digital Thumbprint Program workshops for students to guide them on responsible online behavior and has also forged a partnership with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Philippines and the Ateneo Human Rights Center for the protection of children against exploitation.

HOPELINE is NGF's free 24/7 suicide hotline which can be reached via the following numbers:

804-HOPE (4673)
0917-558HOPE (4673)
2919 (toll free for TM and Globe)

viva manilena 


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