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Hope in 40 seconds: a fight to save lives

Every 40 seconds, a life is lost to suicide, making it the second leading cause of death among 15-29 year-olds globally, according to the World Health Organization. To add, depression is the predominant cause of illness and disability for both boys and girls aged 10 to 19.

With the grim scenario, the Natasha Goulbourn Foundation (NGF) in partnership with the Department of Health (DOH) and the UP Junior Marketing Association (UPJMA), and the support of Globe Telecom is launching “Hope in 40 Seconds”, a 40-seconder animated digital video competition that aims to promote mental health and encourage those suffering from it as well as their loved ones to seek guidance from HOPELINE, NGF’s free 24/7 suicide hotline.

“We want to counter the suicide rate of one per 40 seconds by offering hope so that those who are in emotional crisis and in need of immediate assistance can have someone they can talk to, someone who understands what they are going through, and who can give them the support they need,” said Jean Goulbourn, Chief Executive Officer of NGF, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing depression to light.

Through animated videos which will be distributed using various channels such as social media and movie theatres, NGF would be able to reach out to more people and provide them with proper intervention so they could veer away from negative and escapist behaviors.

Globe, a partner of NGF in providing the information and communications technology infrastructure for HOPELINE which enables Globe and TM customers to call toll-free, also lends its resources to the video competition which it believes may also help curb incidents of cyber bullying.

“Although there are no official studies yet on how cyberbullying affects mental health, there are already reports of young people taking their own lives due to online pressure and stress. Being a company which is driven by our purpose to transform the Philippines into a digital nation, it is also our duty to protect and educate the people on the impact of technology in their lives, thus, our support for this campaign,” said Fernando Esguerra, Globe Director for Citizenship. Globe also currently runs the Digital Thumbprint Program workshops for students to guide them on responsible online behaviour 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 online exploitation.

The video campaign has also been taken as a project by the UP JMA, a university-wide student organization of over 300 members. For this semester, the organization embarked on SPARK: The Movement to promote healthy lifestyle and to spread hope among the country’s youth.

The video competition is open to all Filipino citizens currently residing in the Philippines. All entries must be in animated digital video format (FLV, WMV, MOV, AVI, mpeg, mp4) not exceeding 40 seconds including the title and end screens. It should also incorporate the HOPELINE numbers 804-HOPE (4673), 0917558HOPE (4673), and 2919 (toll free for TM and Globe) as a call to action in the animation.