Mental Health cannot be ignored as it is an essential aspect of overall well-being of humans- Prof. Malik H. Mubbashar

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Mental Health cannot be ignored as it is an
essential aspect of overall well-being
of humans - Prof. Malik H. Mubbashar

FAISALABAD: The 20th National Psychiatric Conference of Pakistan Psychiatric Society was recently organized by the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, DHQ Hospital, Punjab Medical College, Faisalabad. The theme of the conference was “Contemporary Issues in Indigenous Psychiatry.”
Professor Malik H. Mubbashar, former VC, UHS was the chief guest of the inaugural session. He emphasized that Mental Health cannot be ignored as it is an essential aspect of overall well-being of humans. The focus of the conference is for the voice of dignity and human rights for the patients and to facilitate and promote mental health as well as to address the current contemporary issues in Psychiatry, he further added. The theme lecture by Professor Fareed Minhas covered various contemporary issues in indigenous psychiatry ranging from accelerating brain drain at the tertiary level,training issues, mental health act, stigma related to psychiatric illness, as well as WHO Mental health GAP (mhGAP) Action plan. He stated that mental health disorders contribute a substantial proportion to the global burden of disease and the increasing prevalence is a cause for concern. In Pakistan significant dearth of mental health resources and lack of trained personnel means that a vast gap exists between the need of services and service delivery. New legislation for the mentally ill people, better integration of mental health in the primary health care services, strengthening of community services, political commitment are all contemporary issues needing utmost attention. He briefly discussed the mental health GAP action plan and its aim to scale up care for mental, neurological and substance misuse disorders as an exemplary framework incorporating strategies to improve treatment for prevalent disorders and improving delivery of services.
An important highlight of the scientific programme was the session on Public awareness. Among the panel were distinguished Psychiatrists including Professor Saad Bashir Malik, Prof Aftab Asif, Prof Sultan, Dr. Nasar Saeed ,Dr. Ahmer among others. Various question asked by audience relating to difference between “Zehni”&”Dimaghi bemari”, types of psychiatric illnesses, their causes, different treatments, stigma and attitude of society towards mentally ill as well as their families , needs of special children were discussed in empathic manner & simple language by the learned panelists. Music & Mental health, Psychiatrists shortage in Pakistan, Primary health care ICD-11 and field trials, Integration of Psychiatry & Behavioural sciences in Modular curriculum of DUHS were some of the other topics covered during the sessions. A number of workshops on various topics i.e stress management, forensic psychiatry, communication skills were also conducted during the conference.
There was a special session on child Psychiatry. Professor Fareed Minhas in his presentation shared his experience of developing child Psychiatric services in Rawalpindi. Dr. Nazish Imran presented her research paper of emotional problems in Pakistani children being predicted by medically unexplained symptoms. Dr. Yusra highlighted that Benzodiazepine Intake was the most common way of self-harm in adolescents in a retrospective notes review of cases presenting in AKUH emergency in the last 22 years.
Dr. Imran Dogar Head of the Dept. of Psychiatry at Punjab Medical College/Allied Hospital was chairperson of the organizing committee which had made excellent arrangements for the meeting to make it a memorable event for the participants.