For Chicago's Mendachic Club, Mental Health Is Global Issue

CHICAGO- They danced to V.I.C.'s catchy line dance song "Wobble" song to burn some calories after enjoying some delicious Asian cuisine. But this was no ordinary banquet: these guests were gathered to raise money and awareness for mental health in the Philippines.

Last week, The Mental-Mandaluyong Club--better known as Mendachic Club-- held its 46th Annual Dinner Dance.  In 1968, the group was founded in Chicago to coordinate efforts for financial support of the Philippine National Mental Hospital in Mandaluyong, Manila in the Philippines--a place where many of the charter members worked. Over the years, the group has had 14 Presidents--most of whom are still alive today. Out of all the group's fundraising events, the most popular and longstanding one is their Annual Dinner Dance. 

At the Dinner Dance, there were activities including a raffle, song performances by some of its most talented members, and the crowning of Miss Mendachic Muse. Yet, the Mendachic Club offers more than just recreation for its members and supporters. The group works to apprise the public about why more money is needed for research and support services for the mental health community in the Philippines.

In October 2010, a convicted killer fatally stabbed school children in the Phillipines. According to witness accounts, the man appeared to be mentally disturbed. While no other events of that nature have transpired since then, mental health experts in the Philippines are always vigilant in the efforts to stop tragedies before they occur.

As World Mental Health Day approaches in October, mental health advocates are working to boost awareness in areas where it is needed most. In the Philippines, one of the leading advocacy organizations has been PMHA (Philippine Mental Health Association). As a member organization of the World Federation for Mental Health, PMHA offers programs and services to inform the public about important issues with mental health.  

As the Mendachic Club approaches its 50th Annual Dinner Dance in 2017, there will be more events to promote more awareness for the global epidemic of mental illness. 

* Zack Isaacs & Ian Camilotes contributed to this report* 

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