UoS webinar stresses improving mental, physical health

SARGODHA, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News – 30th Jun, 2020 ) :International and national mental health experts Tuesday stressed the need for ensuring mental and physical well-being as component of preventive response in the healthcare services in order to minimise distress and prevent people from developing severe mental health problems.

The experts believed that the mental health consequences, such as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic disorders, from the pandemic would be enormous and unimaginable. The pandemic and the associated changes, including serious financial implications for many households, can have profound consequences for mental health.

The deliberations were made at a webinar, organised by the University of Sargodha (UoS), titled “Pakistan’s battle against COVID-19 ensuring mental health for sustainable community” under the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The webinar was attended by Dr Bertus F, assistant professor at the Department of Psychology University of Groningen Netherlands, Magdalena Zemojtel Piotrowsks, head of Cross Cultural Psychology Center, Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw, Dr Summiya Ahmed associate professor of Psychology Peshawar University, Dr Nargis Asad Associate professor of Psychology Agha Khan University, Dr Anila kamal from National Institute of Psychology Quaid-e-Azam University Pakistan. It was moderated by Ms Anum, lecturer at Psychology Department, Sargodha University.

The webinar was aimed at discussing mental health challenges and to highlight the optimal digital psychiatry and tele-mental health support services in Pakistan during pandemic.

Speaking at the webinar, Magdalena Zemojtel Piotrowsks said that uncertainty and physical isolation had caused lack of social connection, and being alone with your thoughts may be more distressing than ever. At the urging of public health officials, large public gatherings have been canceled, obsessive hand-washing was all but mandatory, and much of the world is in an uneasy state of lockdown, she added.

Appreciating the smart lockdown concept, Dr Bertus F said that the initiative had produced positive results in terms of mental health.

Dr Summiya Ahmed discussed the nuclear and joint family systems. She also highlighted the fear of COVID-19 and concerns about the economic crisis. Isolation has started to haunt people because of no societal interactions and has become not only the mental issue but the social issue as well, she said.

Dr Nargis Asad valued the efforts of healthcare institutions of Pakistan in establishing telemedicine centers and tele-mental health care centers. She said “the situation has provided an opportunity to transform mental healthcare centre virtually.

Dr Anila Kamal said that the pandemic had affected interpersonal relationships where the domestic violence had been increased. She highlighted the services provided by the psychiatrists, psychologist and other mental health service providers along with the problems they faced in treatment of the ongoing pandemic.

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