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Yves Miel H. Zuñiga, FRSPH, AFCHSM, CHM, CPH

By Yves Miel H. Zuñiga, FRSPH, AFCHSM, CHM, CPH

Well-being and the science of kindness

Roundtable discussion (Part 1 of 2)

Kindness begins with the understanding that we all struggle.

Kindness is a behavior marked by doing something good and beneficial towards yourself and others. It is also an act that is motivated by a genuine desire to effect a positive difference. Studies have shown that kindness and one’s mental health are strongly related.

With the unforeseen impacts of COVID-19, such as isolation and the worsening digital divide, kindness serves as a universal antidote: being kind to oneself can also help boost confidence and improve feelings of optimism amid uncertainty. 

"Kindness is a natural manifestation of a grateful heart and a life consumed with gratitude."

"While we give support to others, we should also take a step back and look at how to be kind to ourselves for our well-being."

Dr. Jasmine Vergara, WHO Philippines Tweet

With invited panelists from United for Global Mental Health, the World Health Organization Philippines, and BEAGIVER, this roundtable discussion hopes to take a closer look at how kindness plays an essential role in our mental health and well-being during COVID-19.

RTD on kindness
Roundtable discussion on well-being and the science of kindness with panelists from the international and national nongovernment organizations

Key points

"An extremely important core to kindness is empathy, which means moving with someone through their journey and taking the time to share their pain."

Sarah Kline, United for Global Mental Health Tweet

From the insightful discussion among our panelists, we learned how kindness can also mean empathy, respect for human rights, and even self-care (kindness to one’s self). We’ve learned in this session that kindness is core to safer spaces and more inclusive communities. After all, the kindness that we give to others is the same kindness you get through others. 

Watch the first part of the roundtable discussion below:

About the panelists

Sarah Kline

  • Sarah is the co-Founder and the CEO of United for Global Mental Health, a UK-based global mental health charity that exists to advocate, campaign, and fundraise for greater political and financial support for mental health. In her role, she is responsible for all aspects of running the organization and has oversight for policy, advocacy, and financing work. Over the course of her career, she has developed and delivered successful national and international campaigns and initiatives aimed at governments, international institutions, and political parties at the highest levels.

 

Dr. Jasmine Vergara

 

Josh Mahinay

  • Josh is a Filipino social entrepreneur and community volunteer. After returning from Los Angeles, in 2017, he founded BEAGIVER VENTURES INC., a social entrepreneurship venture that supports impoverished school children through its “buy one, give one” business model, where is now the President and CEO.

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