Mental Health Day Celebrations at KEMU/Mayo Hospital Lahore


Mental Health Day Celebrations at
KEMU/Mayo Hospital Lahore

By Dr. Maryam Ayub*

LAHORE: “World Mental Health Day” was observed in King Edward Medical University by Academic Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine in collaboration with WHO. World Mental Health Day is observed on 10th October every year, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health. The Day provides an opportunity for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to talk about their work, and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide.

The theme of this year is “Mental Health for All. Greater Investment Greater Success”. The chief guest of occasion was Provincial Minister for Health Dr. Yasmin Rashid. The event was presided by Vice Chancellor KEMU Prof. Dr. Khalid Masood Gondal.

Punjab Health Minister Prof. Yasmin Rasheed along with Prof. Aftab Asif and Prof. Ali
Hashmi chairing a meeting to celebrate World Mental
Health Day organized by King
Edward Medical University Academic Department of Psychiatry and
Behavioral Medicine recently.

Prof. Aftab Asif, Head of Academic Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine King Edward Medical University and Mayo Hospital, welcomed the audience and explained the need for mental health focus in current pandemic including his personal experience of battling Covid. Various staff members of Psychiatry Department also narrated their personal experiences in dealing with depression and anxiety in admitted patients during current pandemic.

Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Khalid Masood Gondal in his address highlighted that this year’s World Mental Health Day, comes at a time when our daily lives have changed considerably as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The past months have brought many challenges: for health-care workers, providing care in difficult circumstances, going to work fearful of bringing COVID-19 home with them; for students, adapting to taking classes from home, with little contact with teachers and friends, and anxious about their futures; for workers whose livelihoods are threatened; for the vast number of people caught in poverty or in fragile humanitarian settings with extremely limited protection from COVID-19; and for people with mental health conditions, many experiencing even greater social isolation than before. And this is to say nothing of managing the grief of losing a loved one, sometimes without being able to say goodbye. He appreciated the role of Mayo Hospital Psychiatry Department in dealing with admitted COVID-19 patients and establishment of tele-psychiatric services.

Prof. Ali Hashmi explained this year’s theme for World Mental Health Day and importance of mental health on personal and community levels for general public. He also thanked University administration and faculty for supporting Psychiatry Department in all academic endeavors.

Chief Guest Minister for Health Punjab Dr. Yasmin Rashid appreciated the efforts of KEMU and Psychiatry Department. She emphasized the need for public education and talking about mental health in all community settings. She also extended her support for expansion of Psychiatric Services including Geriatric Psychiatry in addition to newly started fellowships of Child Psychiatry under supervision of Prof. Nazish Imran.

CEO Mayo Hospital Prof. Asad Aslam and Head of Department of Child Psychiatry Prof. Nazish Imran were also in attendance. The seminar was graced by eminent psychiatrists including Dr. Rubina Aslam, head of department of Jinnah hospital, Dr. Ayesha Rasheed, head of department of Ganga Ram Hospital and Prof. Imran Ijaz Haider, head of department Fatima Memorial Hospital.

The event was supported by all departments of Mayo Hospital with presence of Prof. Bilquees Shabbir, Dean of Medicine, Prof. Ayesha Shaukat of Surgery, Prof. Zahra Ishrat and Prof. Farrukh Afzal of Anesthesia, Prof. Saira Afzal, Dean of Community Medicine and Prof. Farah Yousaf from Gynecology. Faculty Attendees also included Dr. Bilal, Dr. Tazeen and Dr. Uzma.