Aiming to give the people of Brgy. Toytoyan, Dipaculao, Aurora basic knowledge and tips on financial literacy and mental health, the Aurora State College of Technology (ASCOT) Graduate Studies Department, in collaboration with the College’s Extension and Rural Development Office, conducted FLY MHA, a Financial Literacy and Mental Health Awareness Program held at the Barangay Hall of the said barangay, June 14.

With the main objective of improving the financial well-being and mental health aspects of families in Brgy. Toytoyan, the activity started with an opening remark from Mr. Rick G. Gonzales, Jr., Director of the College’s Extension Office wherein he expressed his utmost gratitude to the community that made time for the said training. In addition, he also said that he is hoping that the series will be able to help the participants with their financial capacity and mental health, which are two of the most important aspects for them to have a better life.

In her talk, Ma’am Cynthia D. Macose, MBA, the College’s Cashier, pointed out ten important things to remember for financial stability and independence. She stressed each point and explained them as well as localized real-life examples that the participants could relate to. She also stressed that it is even better to take loans from legitimate banks and loaning institutions to avoid financial stress.

Ma’am Macose ended her talk by letting the participants recall their most important takeouts during the talk and also encouraged them to check out the cooperatives found within Aurora, including the ASCOT Multi-Purpose Cooperative, especially the opportunities that the said cooperative can provide for them.

Meanwhile, in her discussion, Ma’am Dolores Salvacion F. Tolentino, RGC, one of the College’s registered guidance counselors, highlighted seven key points to managing mental health, which include exercise, sleep, nutrition, relationships, brain simulation, and laughter. She pointed out that less or excess of any of the seven can lead to stress—therefore finding a good balance of all the seven key components can help the participants alleviate their existing stress.

In addition, Ma’am Tolentino guided the participants in a meditation session by playing a 10-minute video as a guide, which was participated in by the attendees. In the end, they were happy with the results as they felt relaxed and released from the stress they had been feeling for quite a while.

After the discussion proper, some of the participants shared the insights they gained, including the Brgy. officials, who also gave their impressions regarding the given training provided by the speakers. Most of the participants felt thankful for the learnings since they were either reminded or taught lessons that could save them from debt and or any other problems that could have arisen should they stood ignorant in said aspects.

The program ended with the awarding of certificates to the guest speakers and participants, followed by a closing remark given by the Vice President for Planning and Finance, Forester Michelle A. Resueño. She expressed her appreciation for both the organizing team and the Toytoyan Community for their roles and contribution to the completion and success of the program.