UST anthropologist wins multi-million grant for students’ mental health study

HSBC Philippines
Dr. Maria Carinnes P. Alejandria
Maria Carinnes P. Alejandria has won a research grant that will study the mental health of university students in the Philippines. Photo from Carinnes Alejandria website.

University of Santo Tomas (UST) anthropologist Dr. Maria Carinnes P. Alejandria has won a multi-million peso research grant for a nationwide qualitative study on university students’ mental health.

The Filipino anthropologist was granted funding by the Department of Science and Technology’s Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD), to pursue the project, shared Alejandria in a Facebook post on December 7, 2020, after receiving the written approval.

The Assistant Professor from the UST Department of Sociology shared details of her approved study titled “Mapping of socio-cultural factors and determinants associated with depression, anxiety, self-harm and suicidality among university students” in a December 13 post on her website.

The two-year project of the UST researcher which starts in January 2021- December 2022, aims to map the socio-cultural factors that cause depression, anxiety, self-harm, and suicidality among university students.

Alejandria announced that the participants of the study will be identified through the assistance of the research collaborators of participating private and state universities in Benguet, Palawan, Manila, Rizal, Leyte, and Davao… as these locations have universities with established guidance and counselling programs and where cultural representations vary from each other.

“Thank you so much, DOST-PCHRD, for believing in this project! This project closely hits home. As I always argue, health (and illnesses) must be understood within the socio-cultural landscape of a population. I hope that this project could impact our programs for mental health among the youth. Excited to collaborate with fellow academics from Luzon to Mindanao for two years!” wrote Alejandria in her Facebook post.

The social health expert who received her Bachelor’s and Doctorate degrees in Anthropology at the University of the Philippines says she intends to help the higher education institutions in implementing and dealing with the sensitive yet significant mental health policies.

Carinnes Alejandria had also received multiple international grants and awards for taking interest in the experiences of the marginalized communities in the Philippines namely: Brown International Advanced Research Institute Seed Grant – 2015 winner, Association for Asian Studies LDC Grant in 2017, and Rising Voices of Southeast Asia in 2018 awardee.

More outstanding research works from the Philippines include De La Salle University (DLSU) Manila’s research project turning wastewater from sewage into fertilizer that won the United Kingdom’s 2020 Newton Prize Country Award, the first win for the Philippines, the UP Baguio research to aid Cordilleran weavers, and the Iligan Institute of Technology of the Mindanao State University’s first mercury-free gold processing developed for small-scale miners in Iligan.

SEND CHEERS in the comments below to Carinnes Alejandria for winning a multi-million research grant to address university students’ mental health.

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Alyssa Leyda-Aldemo
Alyssa Leyda-Aldemo was a contributor in the News Letter of her former agency and is currently a content writer on her church's website and social media platform. She is now a full-time housewife who wants to re-ignite her passion for writing.