World Mental Health Day Meeting at FMH Lahore
Parents should spend some quality time with
children & bridge the communication gap

LAHORE: Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences at Fatima Memorial Hospital organized a meeting to celebrate World Mental Health Day on October 2, 2019. In his introductory remarks Prof. Imran Ijaz Haider Head of the Dept. of Psychiatry at FMH pointed out that today parents complain that children do not listen to them and say we do not know where we have gone wrong. We work hard and ensure their education in best institutions. There appears to be a communication gap between the parents and their children.

Ideas about suicide is a warning signal. Children become irritable, there is a change in their mood and behaviour. They become aggressive, start giving away things, and have negative thoughts. They remain isolated and have a feeling of being alone. They start having feelings of like a burden on their parents. The parents, Prof. Imran Ijaz Haider stated need to listen to them, believe in them. Do not put labels on children. It is important that we as parents should be able to listen to them. WHO has estimated that suicide is the second leading cause of death in children between the ages of 15-29 years? He appealed to the parents to never forget their children.

Ms. Roshan Asad Gilani presented the students perspective on the subject and gave details of a survey study. The students surveyed pointed out that they are under stress. Few start smoking to relieve their stress, 50% shared their feelings, 70% of students said that their parents do not listen to them. Parents they opined, should be supportive, do not pressurize the students to get good grades in studies. Avoid over thinking. Offer prayers and keep an eye on children.

Dr. Aneeqa presented the young doctors perspective and highlighted the concerns of young adults. Her study revealed that parents put pressure on them to be perfect child. One should not compare the children with other children as it affects their self-esteem. Most mothers are friendly but fathers also need to listen to the children. It is essential to remove the communication gap. Then there are cultural and societal pressures. Girls are under more pressure about getting married at right time. Feeling sad, she said, was not associated with Islam. We must not burden them more, she added.

Prof. Aftab Asif taking part in the discussion opined that parents should also have been invited to listen to them. At times parents are confused. They have too much expectations from students. It is a stress factor. One of the studies showed that almost 30% of medical students were forced to get admission into medical college. Students must have time for extracurricular activities. Now mobiles are their friends. It is essential for all of us to give time to our family and children in particular. Dr. Sumera stated that positive stress is good. Young couples after marriage need to be trained in parenting skills. They should not be too authoritative. Dr. Amina Ahmad the medical educationist was of the view that we need to look at our societal norms. Working women also needs some helping hands. We need to respect the working women, help them and assist them. There is no harm if the husband also helps the wife in work at home, takes care of the kids. Dr. T. Ijaz was of the view that parents needs to be educated on how to deal with stress. They need guidance, she added.

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