Vice Chancellor - Prof. Dr. Hassan Amir Shah, Sitara-i-Imtiaz

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Dr. Ajmal Psychological Society 


GCU turning spotlight on mental health issues


The Government College University Lahore has turned the spotlight on the mental health; organizing a week long activities to highlight and deliberate upon the issues related to human thinking, behaviors and social well-being. The GCU Mental Health Week (MHW) celebrations, organized by the university’s Dr Ajmal Society Physiological Society and Psychology Department, includes a three-day International Conference on Health Psychology, besides an awareness walk, pre-conference workshop, invited lectures and inter-universities performing arts competition.


However, the GCU-MHW 2017 celebrations began with a poster exhibition inaugurated by Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Hassan Amir Shah. “Self-care isn’t selfish: it’s self-preservation,” reads one of the many posters put on display the psychology students from twelve different educational institutions including Punjab University, BNU Lahore, GCU Faisalabad, Islamia University Bhalwapur and Lahore College for Women University. The posters highlighted the key values that helped people in avoiding stress, anger and drug addictions, and staying positive in negative environments.


In her inaugural address, GCU Psychology Department Chairperson Dr Syed Shahida Batool said that they all faced professional stress, social and interpersonal constraints and security challenges, and above all they were fighting the war against terrorism and this all had a very negative impact on their mental health. “So, activities this year mental health week intends to carry out are very effective as one-way or other to safeguard our mental health by undertaking our mind and social needs and indulging us in relaxing healthy activities,” he said.


Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Hassan Amir Shah said the besides academic and professional debate, the mental health week provided a platform to the students of GCU and other universities to show their innovation and creativity, which was somehow discouraged in our formal education system. He says that the students do their catharsis in the form of creative posters, mimes, play etc., which help them to express their pent-up emotions as a nation and as an individual, and it has payback in the form of their emotional and mental health. “It is also the source of knowledge sharing,” he added.


Later, the Vice Chancellor gave away prizes and certificates to the winners of the poster competition.




Performing Arts Festival at GCU


As a part of its Mental Health Week celebrations, the Government College University Lahore (GCU) Dr Ajmal Psychological Society organized a Performing Arts Festival on the theme of ‘positive psychology’. About eight teams of different colleges and universities participated in the theatrical festival to project the conflict between good and evil forces within a human mind. Lahore College for Women University’s performance was most appreciated by the audience. It revolved around the story of an argument between the devils (of anger, hatred and greed) and angels (of love, hope and generosity) which were trying to lure a human mind with their rewards.


The Beconhouse University staged a play about the miseries of man suffering from a psychological ailment, and ultimately finds a way out from his superstitions and hallucinations in Sufism. The script tried to highlight the unexplained and mysterious healing power in Sufism. The University of Central Punjab staged a play about people who called themselves spiritual healers and misguided people in the name of religion. The GCU Psychology Department presented a mime touching on Sufi traditions.


Speaking on the occasion, GCU Psychology Department Chairperson Dr. Syeda Salma Hasan said theatre, besides a source of entertainment and joy, was also a best available method to communicate a message to the society, and it must be used in Pakistan to promote positive thinking and values of tolerance, generosity and forgiveness. 



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