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Celebrities share their Mental Health Stories at BRATs 2

On the 2nd edition of The Boy R. Abunda Talk Series (BRATS) a beauty queen, a motivational speaker, an overachiever and two great young actresses  bravely shared some of their most touching stories and experiences about mental health.

True to its purpose of being a disruptor, BRATs 2  bravely discussed one of the most ignored problems being faced by a lot of people–depression.

Boy Abunda with BRATS guest speakers left to right: Bela Padilla, Jasmine Curtis-Smith, Quennie Maravillas, Kylie Versoza, Nykko Bautista

2016 Miss International Kylie Versoza, motivational speaker Quennie Maravillas, former varsity player Nykko Bautista, Jasmine Curtis-Smith and Bela Padilla willingly shared and revealed their bouts with depression in the past.

Kylie was diagnosed as clinically depressed four years ago. She was in denial and ashamed to talk about it because people expect her to be “perfect.” She thought of herself as “ugly, stupid, worthless, not good, smart and pretty enough.” P900

Kylie advised people suffering from depression not to be afraid to speak the truth and not to be shy to speak to a loved one.” She went the natural way ( of healing) by having to exercise a lot, do yoga and being around people who are ready to listen. She feels lucky she has a good support system around her.

Nykko’s depression started two years ago, when his friends noticed something was off about him. He couldn’t sleep well and had difficulty functioning.

He thought it was normal until he started going downhill and everything was in disarray. He took sleeping pills to sleep better. He felt useless and thought of suicide. But Nikko had a change of heart. He realized suicide was not the answer. He also did not want his parents to suffer the pain. Nykko said he knew he’ is okay by recognizing what the five senses can do.

Quennie attempted to commit suicide five times. Everybody thought she was doing fine because she was a motivational speaker.

Deep inside, her world was crumbling. She wanted to become a teacher but she lost it. She wanted to become a politician and again, she lost it. She wanted to be with someone but failed. She lost everything that she wanted.

But Queenie had to be strong. Today, she can now talk about her past openly.

Bela suffered from depression. She said that she is easily affected by the characters she portrays and finds it difficult detaching herself from them. Like her role in Probinsyano where it took her time to process that she was just playing a character and nothing bad happened to her.

Jasmine’s depression started during her younger years with her experiences as a kid. She said that she was not able to talk about it to people who could have enlightened her. “Sometimes, you just need someone to listen and accept you without judgment. I have an avenue now and my next step is to go back again to a mental health professional because I know I can’t solve this with just a friend and family members only.”

(BRATS 2: Mental Health was made possible with the support of GSIS PGM Atty. Jesus Clint Aranas, BEAUTeDERM, M.E Sicat Construction, Orange Blush Salon, BARLICO – The Healthy Brew and Great Image)

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