September is World Leukemia Awareness Month and EPCALM has invited two foreign guests to enhance the observance of this global campaign. Dr. Ronald Gress, MD of the National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute, Bethesda Maryland and Dr. Robert Baugher, Phd of Highline College in Des Moines, Washington, USA.
Dr. Gress will deliver a lecture on the advances in bone marrow transplantation during the Annual convention of the Philippine Society of Hematology and Blood transfusion on Sept 8 at the Crowne plaza. He will also conduct special lectures and meetings at the St. Luke’s Medical Center, Global City to enhance the understanding of leukemia.
Dr. Bob Baugher is the main resource speaker for EPCALM’s third grief conference on Sept 8&9 and 12 (special session for teens) at the Henry Sy Auditoriun 5th floor main hospital building St. Luke’s Global City. He will be joined in by Filipino experts in adolescent grief namely, Dr. Emma Llanto of Compassionate Friends , Jean Goulbourn of Natashia Goulbourn Foundation, Barbara delos Reyes of Elijah House with prominent psychologists Cathy Babao, Peachy Gonzalez Fernandez and Marisa Marin.
Mr. Boy Abunda, Chuckie Dreyfuss and Jasmine Curtis-Smith will compliment the speakers to bring about a lively interplay of interactive lectures and audience activities. The goal is to demonstrate that each participant should identify and get into the right perspective of their own grief, whether or not they are consciously aware of it so that healing can commence towards a victorious and restored life.
Ever since EPCALM has taken on Understanding Grief 1 (UG1) in May 2013 at St Luke’s Medical Center Global City and Understanding grief 2 (UG2), May of 2014 in Dumaguete city there was a consistent clamor for EPCALM to tackle Teen grief.
Hence, EPCALM is now staging Understanding Grief 3 (UG3): Grief experience of the Adolescents in the Philippines.
The youth of today that includes the millennial generation is faced with many challenges: peer pressure, bullying in school or even at home and cyberspace, physical or mental illness, unwanted pregnancies and other life wrenching experiences that winds up into depression, self harm and even suicide.
Indeed, UG3 comes as a timely event in the face of the many issues of the turbulent yet exciting years of the Filipino youth.
The Filipino youth is said to be 19.2 million, with 10.3 million aged 15-19 years, and about 9 million are in the 20-24 year age group. It is alarming that the suicide rate born out of unprocessed grief among Filipinos has gone up in the last 21 years, with majority of the cases involving young people aged 24 years old and below, according to studies, and figures from the National Statistics Office.
Grief is not unique to those who have lost someone to death. It encompasses our very existence almost inseparable from life itself. It’s our daily disappointments and frustrations, pain and suffering, loss of job or relationships or separation from someone or any object for which an emotional attachment has developed, fear, worry or anxiousness over various triggers.
Our individual grief experiences are very personal and not everyone grieves the same but since it affects those around us consciously or otherwise, it has to be processed. Hence, UG3 applies to everyone who seeks to meet the challenges of life bravely. It is designed for all those who seek to understand themselves, their friends and family going through different stages of grief with the hope of being able to channel feelings of gloom into avenues of healing.
EPCALM adult leukemia foundation of the Philippines, the first and only of its kind in the country, in its desire to render personalized, practical and family oriented support to leukemia patients have seen a lot of grief in families suddenly struck by the threat of a life threatening illness in a family member. The family dynamics change so suddenly affecting the physical, emotional, psychosocial aspects of their existence, not to mention the financial burden of the disease.
Dealing with the complex and multifaceted nature of grief can be grief in itself hence EPCALM endeavors to unravel the mysteries of grief through the coming together of experts in the field as speakers or participants in a friendly environment of sharing, equipping and maturing with the goal of helping Filipinos understand and process the many shades of grief.
See you all at the St. Luke’s Medical Center Global City
Sept 8&9 8am to 5 pm for medical practitioners and health providers, counsellors and psychologists, teachers and parents.
Sept 12: Teen session for the journeying teen.