As World Mental Health Day was observed globally on Saturday, actress Iza Calzado paid tribute to her mom Mary Ann Ussher whom she lost to depression more than 18 years ago.
The 38-year-old Ang Sa Iyo Ay Akin star shared on Instagram a selfie photo of her wearing her mom’s necklace.
“Remembering my mom on World Mental Health Day. The pendant that spells ANN was hers which stood for Mary Ann,” wrote Iza.
Iza also encouraged everyone to be each other’s support system and to help each other cope during these trying times.
“I pray that we all help our loved ones and ourselves cultivate a healthy mind especially during these challenging times. Sending a warm hug to those who need one today. You are loved.”
The cause of Iza’s mother’s death in 2001 was initially reported as cancer. It was only in 2019 when Iza bared the painful truth that her mother died by suicide.
“Day in and day out, I saw how she battled with bouts of depression. My mom was a beautiful person. She was generous; she was compassionate. But she had a temper. She was misdiagnosed and was given downers. She eventually became manic-depressive. And she didn’t want to live anymore,” Iza was quoted as saying in a Philippine STAR article.
Since opening up about her mom’s story, Iza has become an outspoken mental health advocate.
“I myself have never felt bouts of depression, but I want to use the platform and voice I have been blessed with to help other people see the tiny spark of life that we can hold on to,” she said in the same STAR story.
“My mother did not have a support group then. Perhaps by sharing my story, somebody will find inspiration, hope and meaning in it. You can survive and thrive in life even as you battle your way through life and find healing.”
If you or anyone you know is struggling with anxiety and depression, here are numbers you can call:
- (02) 805-HOPE (4673)
- 0917 558 HOPE (4673) and 2919