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In the context of COVID19
Psychosocial Support Capacity
Building Master Trainers Training
at KEMU/Mayo Hospital Lahore

By Prof. Nazish Imran

LAHORE: Psychosocial support capacity building master trainers training in context of Covid-19 was conducted on 7-9th September 2020 in King Edward Medical University Academic Department of Psychiatry in collaboration with Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department Punjab and UNICEF. The participants included healthcare workers from all districts of Punjab including members of health administration, physicians, psychiatrists, and psychologists. The participants through this workshop were trained to be facilitate further training sessions in their respective districts.

The concluding session was chaired by Vice Chancellor KEMU Prof. Khalid Masood Gondal who highlighted the profound impact Covid-19 pandemic has had on individuals, families and communities around the world and the mental health toll taken on patients, families and general public. He emphasized that the mental health toll on COVID-patients, the grief of the people who lost their loved ones, the psychological effects of lockdown and the financial losses suffered have led to a massive mental health burden in global population. Psychosocial support training is needed as a public health strategy to deal with COVID-19 Pandemic. He also thanked the facilitators and organizers for conducting a successful workshop of master trainers who will now be able to train relevant people in their respective districts. Certificates were distributed in the master trainers by the chief guest at the conclusion of the session.


Prof. Khalid Masood Gondal VC KEMU presenting a certificate to Prof.
Aftab Asif during the Psychosocial support capacity building master
trainers training in context of Covid-19 at KEMU recently.

Earlier in training Prof. Aftab Asif and Prof. Nazish Imran highlighted that WHO reports that main psychological impact to date is elevated rates of stress or anxiety but levels of loneliness, depression, harmful alcohol and drug use, and self-harm or suicidal behaviour are also expected to rise. In such scenarios it becomes essential to provide psychosocial support at community level so that the appropriate specialized care can be sought for those who need it without over-burdening the advance psychiatric settings. The objectives of the training were to train stakeholders for addressing the psychosocial support needs in COVID pandemic and to ensure that appropriate intervention including psychological first aid is implemented during psychosocial support and stigma prevention.

Head of Psychiatry Department Prof Aftab Asif told the audience about psychological effects seen in admitted patients of Covid in Mayo Hospital and role of psychiatry department during the peak days of pandemic. Dr Nazish Imran discussed crisis events, psychological impact of crisis. Participants were divided into groups for discussions regarding COVID crisis, its impact and stigma around it. Ms. Mirrat Gul emphasized the role of community in influencing individuals and their psychological well-being. Developing and conducting community based psychological activities was discussed. Prof. Ali Madeeh Hashmi explained the concept of psychological first aid, its action principles, and the informational material and app available by WHO to help healthcare workers combat various crisis. Dr. Irum Bukhari discussed self-care of healthcare workers and stress management methods which can be followed by the frontline workers. Pretest and post tests were conducted to evaluate the performance.


Psychosocial support capacity building master trainers training in context of Covid-19 was
conducted at KEMU/Mayo Hospital Lahore from September 7th to September 9th 2020.
Group photograph taken on this occasion shows Dr Jamshaid Ahmed, Head of WHO
office Punjab alongwith Prof. Asad Aslam and DG Health
Haroon Jehangir, Medical
Supdt. Mayo Hospital and Prof. Aftab Asif.

Honorable guests included DG Health Dr. Haroon Jehangir who appreciated the efforts of Mayo Hospital and CEO Dr. Asad Aslam and COO Dr. Tahir Khalil. Dr. Jamshaid Ahmed, Head of WHO office Punjab also joined during the training and highlighted the importance of addressing psychological impact of COVID-19. Ms Zahida Sarwar from UNICEF and Capt. (R) M. Usman Younas Secretary P&SHD joined the session through video-link and stressed upon the need of workshop in current times. They appreciated the efforts of Mayo Hospital Psychiatry Department for leading the initiative of educating healthcare staff in the province with special focus on healthcare staff working in peripheries.

Earlier in her introductory address Prof. Nazish Imran, Head of Department Child and Family Psychiatry Department KEMU who was the main coordinator for the training emphasized that the COVID-19 pandemic is one of the biggest public health challenges the world has faced in recent memory. It has had a profound impact on individuals, families, and communities around the world.

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