International Symposium on World Suicide Prevention Day: Creating Hope Through Action
Every year on September 10th, World Suicide Prevention Day demonstrates worldwide dedication and action to prevent suicides. Pakistan is the fifth most populous country in the world, with the majority of the population struggling to meet basic demands. Increased mental health problems are also a severe burden, leading to Suicide in the majority of patients. According to the World Health Organization, Suicide accounts for around 800,000 deaths globally each year, with most deaths occurring in low- and middle-income countries. COVID-19 has not only caused physical problems but also leaves a long-lasting impact on our mental health and may lead to suicides due to economic recession, distress, and fear of infection (Mamun, 2020).
The Department of Psychology, Foundation University Islamabad, Rawalpindi Campus hosted an international Symposium on Suicide Prevention in collaboration with the Pakistan Institute of Living and Learning (PILL). Eminent Speakers including Prof. Dr. Imran Bashir Chaudhry, Head of Psychiatry Department at Ziauddin Hospital, Karachi; Dr. S M Yasir Arafat, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Enam Medical College and Hospital, Bangladesh; Dr. Sarah Cassidy, Assistant Professor at University of Nottingham, United Kingdom, and Ms. Atia Naqvi, Clinical Psychologist from the United States delivered their talk via MS. Teams. The symposium was attended in person by Faculty Members of the Psychology Department at Video Conference Hall and more than 100 participants, including students and professionals from all over Pakistan, participated via MS. Teams. The symposium was chaired by Prof. Dr Nusrat Husain, Director Global Health Research, University of Manchester, UK, and moderated by Dr. Nadia Shafique. After the recitation of the Holy Quran, Prof. Dr. Tanvir Akhtar welcomed the speakers, participants, and pay regards to Prof. Dr. Nasim Chaudhry, Chief Executive Officer at PILL and Associate Director at Global Health Research at the University of Manchester. The participants well took the session, and a healthy discussion emerged to find out the risk and protective factors related to Suicide.
In the end, honorable Prof. Dr. Fazal Rahim Khan thanked all the speakers and participants for making this event memorable and launched the 2nd International Conference of Psychology Department on “Understanding Hidden Disabilities: Creating a Resilient and Inclusive World” on December 3rd 2021 at the Foundation University Islamabad, Rawalpindi Campus.