University of Luzon Empowers Students with “Ako Muna: Small Steps Towards Big Change” Seminar

Posted on 22nd of Apr 2024 by


The University of Luzon (UL) prioritized student well-being and fostered a culture of peer support with the “Ako Muna: Small Steps Towards Big Change” Youth Peer Counseling Seminar held on April 17th, 2024, at the multi-purpose hall.

This insightful initiative aimed to equip students with the knowledge and tools to become effective peer counselors. The day was segmented into two sessions, each catering to specific audiences.

Morning Session: Building a Foundation in Peer Counseling

The morning session welcomed a diverse group of participants, including students from various colleges and even the laboratory school. Dr. Naomi C. Sanchez, a licensed psychologist (RPsy), set the stage by delivering a comprehensive talk on “Basics and Ethical Considerations in Peer Counseling.” Dr. Sanchez’s lecture provided a strong foundation, equipping participants with the essential knowledge of active listening, building rapport, and identifying appropriate coping mechanisms. Students actively engaged in discussions and role-playing exercises, solidifying their understanding of these crucial concepts.

Ethical Considerations Underlined

Dr. Sanchez’s lecture emphasized the paramount importance of ethical considerations in peer counseling. She discussed maintaining confidentiality, setting boundaries, and recognizing situations that require referral to a professional mental health expert. This emphasis ensured participants understood the responsibilities and limitations of peer counseling, promoting responsible care for their peers.

Afternoon Session: Deepening Connections in a Digital Age

The afternoon session shifted focus to explore the challenges of fostering meaningful connections in today’s technology-driven world. This session was specifically designed for psychology students, delving deeper into the complexities of peer support. Margie D. Viado, a registered psychometrician (RPm), Certified Human Resource Associate (CHRA), led a workshop titled “Making Meaningful Connections in a World Full of Screens.”

Navigating the Digital Landscape

Ms. Viado’s workshop explored the impact of technology on communication and interpersonal relationships. She offered insightful strategies for fostering authentic connections despite the prevalence of digital communication. Students participated in interactive exercises, learning how to navigate the digital landscape while nurturing genuine connections with their peers.

Empowered to Make a Difference

The “Ako Muna: Small Steps Towards Big Change” Youth Peer Counseling Seminar at the University of Luzon proved to be a resounding success. Students from both sessions left feeling empowered and equipped to provide support and understanding to their peers facing challenges. This program has the potential to create a significant ripple effect within the UL community, fostering a more supportive and understanding environment where students feel comfortable reaching out for help from a trusted classmate.

The University of Luzon acknowledges the dedication of the organizers, Dr. Naomi C. Sanchez, Ms. Margie D. Viado, and all the participants who played a vital role in making this seminar a valuable learning experience. This initiative reflects UL’s commitment to promoting mental well-being and fostering a culture of peer support among its students.