Just last October 2019, Miss Universe Philippines 2020 candidate Lou Dominique Piczon of Mandaue City created the campaign called “Rise Up”. The goal is to create a platform where people can openly discuss their feelings and experiences with depression, anxiety and other similar mental illnesses that are very prevalent nowadays.
For her first project under the said campaign, she decided to conduct a seminar touring around universities in Cebu. Together with Dr. Chen Tan (a Psychologist doing his own practice and touring around schools to conduct talks about depression) and Ms. Marini Fernandez (a filmmaker who had bouts with mental illness prior), they were able to get four approvals from the same number of universities where they held two sessions in one day. It also doubled as a fundraiser. She sold RiseUp shirts with the proceeds given to her chosen charity RESTORE Children and Family Services (which caters to traumatized victims, kids and families).
Lou still wishes to conduct another project for RISE UP soon. But for the meantime, she remains open to anyone who wishes to talk about their problems and feelings. Ever since Rise Up started, plenty of troubled teens have been reaching out through her social media platforms. This could only mean that the campaign is effective.
This quarantine, Lou tried to spread positivity through her advocacy pages (Rise Up campaign and Miss Universe Philippines – Mandaue – both on FB) and IG with empowering one-liners and ways of coping with the ECQ. She also helped raise funds and collecting materials especially for Mandaue City Hospital which is now a Quarantine area.
Aside from that, Lou keeps herself busy with work. She takes care of her two dogs and do household chores. She also works out, reads and binge watch on documentaries the rest of the day.
“As much as I want to go out and help in distributing relief goods and PPEs, I am not authorized to do so. We have a very strict guideline to observe and with very limited resources so I do as much as I can at home with information I receive online.” said Lou