“At this time, no new laws are being lobbied in mental health; we’re primarily focusing on ensuring the Mental Health Act is executed properly and that there is proper implementation at the local-level. Like many laws enacted in the Philippines, without continuous monitoring and oversight, the national laws will fail to trickle down to the grassroots level, so that’s where the work of our organizations come in.”
“Living so many ‘different lives,’ it’s been interesting to see how imposter syndrome presents itself in each industry. In the management consulting world self-doubt in your skills creeps in a lot. Despite the rigorous interview process that means you are more than ready for the job. I am sure over time it gets better. But I didn’t stay in the industry long enough to witness my personal evolution with it. When it comes to modeling.. well, naturally as a model you have a lot of insecurities. Whether you’ve just stepped into the industry or are an internationally renowned supermodel, you are very critical of yourself. Industry standards have changed quite a bit, and there has been a marked shift– progress– in the industry focusing on physique to focusing on what the model stands for. That’s been really refreshing to watch.”
“I struggled with my mental health as a child a lot. It was in regards to my own body. I always felt fat, and believed no one would like me or date me because of it. It was only in my 20s that I let that belief go, and then I discovered anxiety about other issues. But the main struggles in my life were always about my sense of unlovability. I just didn’t feel worthy of connection or love and if I don’t keep on top of that, it comes up in my life today.”
“There’s no reason why the conversations around motherhood shouldn’t speak to the totality of who a woman is. We have to stop telling women that when they become mothers they must become martyrs. No one EVER asks a man how he is going to have a family and hold down a job. No one ever tells a man that he must give up the parts of himself that make him human, that give him life. But we always tell women that she can’t both work and raise kids or that she must give up her dreams, whatever they may be. It’s time we stop that.”
What inspired you to use your platform to become an advocate for mental health?
Ali: When I started struggling, I didn’t find anyone online that I could look to. As a teenager, you live your life on social media and that can lead youth to believe everyone is perfect. If I couldn’t find anyone, why shouldn’t I be the one?