Charlie Dizon, JC Alcantara hope 'MMK' episode will open conversation about mental health

Miguel Dumaual, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 06 2022 08:19 PM

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First-time co-stars Charlie Dizon and JC Alcantara are hoping that their “Maalaala Mo Kaya” (MMK) episode, which coincides with World Mental Health Day, will open conversations among family and friends about dealing with mental health conditions and encourage people to seek proper treatment.

In the October 8 episode of the drama anthology, Dizon portrays Joan, the older and only sibling of Jaira (Bea Basa), who is diagnosed with schizophrenia. Orphaned after the death of their father — which triggers Jaira’s episode — Joan is faced with the responsibility of not only raising her sister, but navigating her mental health condition. 

Alcantara, meanwhile, plays Joan’s dependable partner from whom she draws strength.

The Raz dela Torre-helmed episode will air on Saturday as a special offering to mark World Mental Health Day, which falls on Monday, October 10.

In a joint interview with ABS-CBN News, Dizon and Alcantara agreed that their latest “MMK” stint helped them have a deeper understanding of mental health conditions, and expressed hopes that viewers, too, will do their part in lifting the stigma surrounding the topic.

Pointing out that the character of Jaira is also bullied by her peers, aside from grappling with schizophrenia, Dizon said, “Sana mas maging aware ‘yung mga tao, mas maging careful sa pakikitungo sa mga tao, kasi hindi nila alam kung gaano kabigat na ‘yung pinagdadaanan.”

“Sa mga kailangan ng tulong, ‘yung mga may mental health condition, huwag sila mahiyang humingi ng tulong, lalo na sa mga loved ones nila, kasi kailangan talagang i-address ‘yun at kailangan talaga ma-manage nang maayos,” she added.

Alcantara, meanwhile, lamented how conditions like depression and anxiety are often dismissed as trivial, and emphasized the importance of finding the right treatment.

JC Alcantara and Charlie Dizon star in the October 8 episode of ‘MMK.’ ABS-CBN
JC Alcantara and Charlie Dizon star in the October 8 episode of ‘MMK.’ ABS-CBN

“Ang depression at iyong mga may mental health condition, hindi siya joke, e. Kumbaga, minsan kasi, akala nila, ‘Hindi, problema lang ‘yan.’ Pero ang bigat ng pinagdadaanan nila, kaya mas lalong lumalala dahil sa mga nakikita nila sa mga tao, nasasabi ng mga tao na nag-ti-trigger sa kanila. Mas magiging malungkot pa sila, tapos lalala ‘yun.

“Dapat sa mga merong ganito, huwag nating ikulong ang mga sarili natin sa dilim. Humanap tayo ng mga taong magpapasaya sa ‘tin, humanap tayo ng mga taong tutulong sa atin. At siyempre, pumunta ka pa rin sa mga doktor,” Alcantara said.

Dizon seconded, “Seek professional help.”

Hosted by Charo Santos-Concio, “MMK” airs Saturdays on Kapamily Channel, Kapamilya Online Live, iWantTFC, TFC, and A2Z.