There’s no shame in seeking help for your mental health.
This was one of the biggest lessons that actress Jasmine Curtis-Smith admitted she has learned in humanity’s ongoing battle with the COVID-19 pandemic.
In an exclusive Zoom chat with Inquirer Entertainment, Jasmine said she used to speak with a mental health professional once a week. She thought she needed help because she was having emotional difficulty dealing with being away from her family. “My sister (actress Anne Curtis) was with my mom abroad,” said the Filipino-Australian actress. “It also frustrated me that I couldn’t find a way to experience their new journey together with my niece Dahlia. It was really impacting me.”
Dahlia is Anne’s first child with husband, chef and vlogger Erwan Heussaff. Anne gave birth in Australia in March 2020 and returned to the Philippines with her family only in February 2021.“I wished I had gotten stranded with them during the lockdown,” said Jasmine. “It really helped to talk to a professional; at the same time, video calling family as many times as I could. I still haven’t seen my mom up to now. One year seems so long. It’s OK, as long as she’s safe.”
“Don’t get intimidated,” Jasmine said of contacting a mental health professional. “It’s OK. It will be good for you. I guess others are wary that their doctors would give them all sorts of pills. Just be honest. Tell your psychologist that you don’t want any and that maybe you can try different approaches—that’s possible.”
Recalling the early days of the pandemic lockdown, Jasmine said she felt “hopeless but, at the same, time numb.”
The actress explained: “We didn’t know how the industry could move again. With our large number, we can’t imagine how all of us could simply work from home, especially actors. I was worried about how we could bounce back from this and transition into something that’s applicable during this time of the pandemic. I could say I struggled during the first three months.”
Jasmine said she did all sorts of things “just so I’d have output or online presence, even though I have no new projects or brand endorsements. You have to find a way to stay connected with your supporters. I would go live even though I was just cooking corned beef or washing the dishes.”
As an actress, Jasmine believes that it’s important for her to be relevant. “Kailangan mong magpapansin! People should see that you’re doing something, even if you’re just taking photos of your make-up today. I thought, if a producer sees this, he’d say, ‘She can do her make-up on her own. I can cast her!’”
The lockdown has also affected a lot of her plans, business-wise. “I became part of a music management label last year, but my partners and I decided to part ways. We’re no longer working together. I thought it was better for me to focus on my own career,” the 27-year-old said. “At the moment, I have friends who are looking for business partners. We’re still in the talking/research stage on what product we’re going to make, how to distribute it and what our roles would be within the business.” The lead star of Jeffrey Hidalgo’s black comedy, “General Admission,” said: “Financially, with what I currently have—I was never extravagant—I prefer to plan where to put my savings where it would grow,” she said. “I study stuff like ‘term deposits,’ or investments that you don’t need to actually put up a business in order to gain profit from. That might be a better outlet than putting up my own business at this point. I study those stuff, and they’re very intimidating. Your mind has to be ready to learn and absorb everything like a student.” INQ