Remembering Dr. Gia Sison, A Champion of Mental Health

Dr. Gia Sison, a dedicated advocate for mental health, passed away at the age of 53, leaving behind a legacy of compassion and empowerment.

In recent years, the world has experienced a whirlwind of events—war, a pandemic, news, people coming in and out of the spotlight, and everything in between, even the smallest moments. 

Throughout this time, mental health has taken center stage, with discussions about its importance and efforts to combat stigma. 

READ ALSO: Enduring Legacy: Nedy Tantoco’s Gifts For Future Generations

When we think of a “Mental Health Advocate,” one name that often comes to mind is Dr. Gia Sison.

Dr. Sison is a constant presence at college seminars on mental health and in news articles discussing mental well-being. 

She helps people of all ages cope with mental health—what was once regarded as a punishment from God, Sison made sure to be one of those who break the stigma and achieve how we see mental health today.

Photo by Pau Santiago via Instagram @giasison

A Beacon of Hope

According to a 2015 Rappler article, Dr. Sison had a joyful childhood and adolescence. She remains happily married to an emergency room doctor whom she enthusiastically pursued.

Dr. Sison encountered cancer patients and treated them herself, recognizing the gravity of the disease despite the available treatments. She often advised her patients on self-breast exams, emphasizing their life-saving potential. Surprisingly, she had never performed such an exam on herself.

Dr. Sison’s family had no history of cancer, and her parents were healthy and alive when she underwent a mammogram at 43 years old. 

She bravely faced her breast cancer diagnosis, advocating for breast cancer awareness as the Head of Makati Medical Center’s Women Wellness Center, as reported by GMA News Online.

She also led the Livestrong Foundation and served as the National Adviser of the Youth for Mental Health Coalition.

Dr. Sison survived breast cancer, carrying her scar and her story.

That’s why when the news broke last March 21 that Dr. Gia Sison had passed away, everyone was stunned. Her death was first confirmed by the ​​Asociación de Alumnas de Poveda.

A Heartfelt Farewell 

Dr. Gia Sison and husband Dr. Rogin Sison/Photo via Instagram @giasison

Her husband, Dr. Rogin Sison, revealed that she died from pulmonary embolism and heart failure, a loss deeply felt by many. 

Dr. Sison’s recent social media post about her “sudden cardiac death” on February 25 added to the shock of her passing. She added that she had gone through an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator procedure.

“You read it right. I died for six (6) seconds, stuck in a black hole then suddenly scooped back in with the prominent voice of my husband repeatedly asking me to ‘come back.’ After which I heard him apologize for defibrillating me, and the rest just happened so fast,” she said.

“I guess my time ain’t over yet. have so many people to thank for on a separate note but I just wanted to say thanks for another shot at life given by the Lifemaker Himself~ thy will be done 🙏🏼,” she added.

Everlasting Light

Dr. Sison was known for her podcast appearances and advocacy work, particularly in mental health and gender equality. 

Senator Risa Hontiveros expressed her grief over Dr. Sison’s death. Recognizing her as a dedicated ally in legislative efforts for mental health and gender equality.

“She was one of our staunchest #MentalHealthAct & #SOGIEEqualityBill allies. She always made time for us, was always so warm, always so generous with her light,” she said in a Facebook post.

Photo from Senator Risa Hontiveros’ official Facebook page

“Maraming salamat, Doc Gia. You will be dearly missed,” she added.

Dr. Sison’s husband, Dr. Rogin, paid tribute to his wife on Facebook, sharing a series of photos.

“No words can express the sorrow, but I am happy you are peaceful now, no pain, no suffering. I love you so much, my soulmate, my Henny Hen,” Dr. Rogin wrote in the caption.

Photo from Dr. Rogin Sison’s official Facebook

In addition, Dr. Sison’s daughter, Angela, also posted on Facebook. “I will forever cherish these photos of you smiling because they captured your joy, the joy you so effortlessly spread to the world. I will miss you forever, mom, but I know you will be with us and that your kindness lives on forever. We love you!” she wrote in the caption.

Photo courtesy of Angela Sison’s official Facebook

The Legacy of Dr. Gia Sison Lives On

Dr. Sison’s impact on those she touched remains profound, resonating even now.  

All the learning she imparted about mental health and gender equality should remain and continue in this world. 

Photo via Instagram @giasison

Dr. Gia Sison died a hero, providing assistance to those in need. This is what we should do too. 

Not everyone can be a Gia Sison; we only get Gia Sison once, but she was here for a purpose. And what we can do is to carry on with what she started and continue.

Banner photo via Instagram @giasison.

Shop for LIFESTYLE ASIA’S magazines through these platforms.
Download LIFESTYLE ASIA’s digital magazines from:
Subscribe via [email protected]