A Father’s Unconditional Love

Stories | April 5, 2024

Allan is a farmer and father of 21-year-old twin brothers, George and Gerald, who together, live in a remote village in the Bicol region in the Philippines.

In 2018, both George and Gerald were diagnosed with depression and insomnia. Already finding it hard to make ends meet, the family struggled even harder to survive when the twins were diagnosed with mental illnesses.

The family spent 90% of their income from the farm on medicine and hospital fees.

Because they had no car or access to pharmacies in their remote location, Allan would have to travel long distances by public transport to buy medicines. On ‘bad’ days, George and Gerald would sometimes become violent and hurt each other. These are just some of the many challenges that the family experienced in the years prior to getting help.

Fortunately, the family did not have to continue struggling alone for long. In 2022, CBM began supporting a community-managed mental health project in their village to improve services for people with mental health conditions.

Working through a local partner, and in cooperation with the local government, the project ushered in a new chapter of recovery, wellness, and integration for the twins and their family. They received education on mental health and counselling on how to manage their condition. They were also given a chance to connect with other people with mental health conditions from different parts of the region who shared similar stories and challenges. Hearing other voices echo their own, the family felt motivated and inspired and realised they were not alone.

“We are thankful that there is an organisation like this where we are accepted… We now have friends who treat us as equals. At first, I thought that it would be difficult, but it is not.”
– Family member

Now, things are looking much better for the family. George and Gerald help in their small canteen business, and with a better understanding of the laws and policies in place to protect people with disabilities, and with the support of a caring community, the boys have gained confidence and trust in themselves.

Thanks to the CBM project, Allan’s two sons, George and Gerald are managing their mental health challenges.

Image caption: Thanks to the CBM project, Allan’s two sons, George and Gerald are managing their mental health challenges. 

CBM Australia would like to thank our implementing partner for their support in this project.

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