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

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Psychology NEWS

 

 

Int’l conference on Health Psychology concludes at GCU

 

The three-day international conference on “Health Psychology: Issues and Challenges” concluded at the Government College University Lahore with recommendations to the government, academicians and departments concerned to broaden the scope of health psychology, define standards of training of health psychologists in Pakistan and create jobs in hospitals, think-tanks and educational institutions especially schools for the qualified health psychologists.

 

“All the speakers at the conference have empirically emphasized on the role of religion, mysticism, and spirituality in preserving physical and mental health in the healing process, said Dr Syeda Shahida Batool, the Conference Chairman, while addressing the concluding ceremony chaired by Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC) Chairman Prof. Dr. Mohammad Nizamuddin

 

More than 600 scholars and faculty members from 35 universities of Pakistan and delegates from Germany, the United Kingdom and Canada participated in 15 scientific sessions of the conference jointly organized by the GCU Psychology Department, PHEC, Higher Education Commission (HEC) and Punjab AIDS Control Program.

 

The speakers also deliberated upon organizing the Pakistan Association of Health Psychology and launching a research journal on health psychology in Pakistan for which world renowned psychologist and author Dr Christopher Lweis promised to provide his expert services. 

 

 

 

Addressing the concluding ceremony, Prof. Dr. Mohammad Nizamuddin laid a stress on indigenous research on health psychology, saying that that every society and culture had its own particular requirements, so it must not be tried to be fitted into the developmental concepts derived from Western experience of tradition-modernity-postmodernity. Prof Nizam said there were peace, tolerance and security on the GCU campus in comparison to other universities because this university had strong traditions, culture and a system of student societies i.e. debating, drama, quiz etc. which kept students engaged throughout the year in healthy activities of art and culture. The PHEC chairman said that this system was needed to be replicated in other universities as well.

 

Dr Richard Dr Visser from University of Sussex, UK said that his interaction with Pakistani psychology students during the conference was phenomenal, and he himself had learnt a lot from them. He said that there was strong realization in the world to focus on health psychology to modify human behaviors that have been implicated in the chronic illness, relieve pain and reduce stress.

 

Vice Chancellor Prof Hassan Amir Shah expressed gratitude to PHEC Chairman for the technical support and funding for the conference. He said that PHEC was organized just three years ago and it had already started making healthy contribution for the promotion research activities in the universities of Punjab. However, he said, the federal Higher Education Commission had been established 15 years ago and the contribution, it had made in development of universities, through its funding was remarkable. In 2004, the total number of research papers that were produced by the universities in Pakistan was just 800, and these figures have crossed 12,000 last year. The Vice Chancellor hoped that universities in Punjab would benefit from both the federal provincial higher education commissions.

 

GCU Dean Faculty of Social Sciences Prof Dr Tahir Kamran also addressed the closing ceremony of the conference. He said that the papers presented at the conference would add to their understanding that how psychological, behavioral and cultural factors contribute to physical health and illness of individuals.

(02-05-2017)

 

 

 

Int’l conference on Health Psychology begins at GCU

 

Speakers at the opening ceremony of three-day international conference on “Health Psychology: Issues and Challenges” at the Government College University (GCU) Lahore laid a stress on expanding the role of health psychologists in education and health sectors to modify human behaviors.

 

 “Despite the realization for overall unhealthy lifestyles, increasing ratio of chronic illnesses and escalating health care costs, the government is yet to focus on health psychology which help modify human behavior that has been implicated in the chronic illness, relieve pain, reduce stress, improve compliance with medicine and teach patients and family members to live with chronic diseases, said Dr Syeda Shahida Batool, the Chairperson of GCU Phycology Department in her inaugural address.  

 

 

Scholars and faculty members from 35 universities of Pakistan and delegates from Germany, the United Kingdom and Canada are participating in the three-day conference jointly organized by the GCU Psychology Department, Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC), Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (HEC) and Punjab AIDS Control Program. The conference is spread over fifteen scientific sessions and six invited talks by eminent foreign psychologists.

 

Addressing the conference, Dr Batool, the chief organizer of the conference, highlighted that there was no scope of health psychology in Pakistan while standards of training of health psychologists were undefined. He said the role of health psychologists in the hospitals was not well-defined and sometimes it was confused with that of clinical psychologists.

 

In his presidential address at the opening ceremony, Punjab Minister for Higher Education Mr Raza Ali Gillani said that health psychology is broad field that covers multiple issues related to social, emotional and physical well-being. He hoped that this prestigious gathering of scholars and professionals would avail this responsibility and make recommendations to the government for meeting the challenges to their education and health care systems. He also said it was psychologists’ duty to reform the society. 

 

Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Hassan Amir Shah said that the university had received more than 300 quantitative and qualitative research papers for the conference on coping stress, heart diseases, hypertension, cancer, eating disorders, infertility, arthritis, HIV/AIDS, diabetics, burden of care, and assessment issues in healthy psychology. He said that these papers would add to their understanding that how psychological, behavioral and cultural factors contribute to physical health and illness of individuals.   

 

In his key note address, Prof. Dr. Syed Ashiq Ali Shah from Kwantlen Polytechnic University British Columbia, Canada, highlighted the impact of psychosocial-cultural Influences on physical and mental health. He said arrogance, prejudice, xenophobia, and aggression eradicates happiness from life while gratitude, thankfulness, sincerity, love, and respect toward others are the source of true happiness in life.

 

Dr Barabara Keller from University of Bielefeld, Germany said health was not just absence of disease but the presence of positive well-being and movement towards positive directions. She said that this psycho-biosocial model of health had made health psychology a diversified but specialized field. She also believed faith and religion had key role in strong mental health of individuals. 

 

Adnan Zafar Khan, the Additional Secretary of Health Department, Punjab also laid a stress on expanding the role of health psychology, saying that one major challenge to mental health professionals was to manage chronic illnesses like cancer, arthritis, coronary heart disease, hepatitis, and HIV/AIDS. “To my view, this one of the major segments of population with chronic illness has largely been ignored while making health polices,” he said.

 

(27-04-2017)

 

 

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.

 

(25-04-2017)

 

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. 

(24-03-2016)

 

 

GCU celebrates Mental Health Week

 

The Dr Ajmal Psychological Society is celebrating the Mental Health Week at the Government College University Lahore with an aim to promote positive thinking in the society through art and culture. Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Hassan Amir Shah inaugurated the celebrations which began on Monday with an Inter-Universities Poster Competition themed “Positive Psychology” and an on-campus awareness walk titled “Mental Health Walk.”

 

Around 100 psychology students from different educational institutions of the metropolitan including Punjab University, Kinnaird College and Lahore College for Women University took part in the competition and put on display their posters which highlighted the key values that helped people in staying positive in negative environments. The posters were inscribed with interesting and through-provoking headlines.

 

Speaking on the occasion, GCU Psychology Department Chairperson Dr. Syeda Salma Hasan highlighted the need for promoting positivity in the society through art and culture, saying that it’s not wealth but the core values of love, hope, tolerance and generosity which made the life of a person contended and happy. She said that celebrating Mental Heal Week was one of the oldest traditions of GCU Psychology Department and this year it was themed positive psychology which emphasized on positive thinking.

 

Speaking on the occasion, Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Hassan Amir Shah called upon the students to value unconditional bonding of relationships, forgive other and serve the humanity, saying that these positive attributes give better direction to the developmental journey of their life. He appreciated the artwork of the students, saying that artistic expression was best way to create awareness as it usually had a very strong and direct impact on the thinking of people.

 

Later, the Vice Chancellor gave away prizes and certificates to the winners of the competition. A performing arts festival and workshop on “Diagnosis Psychopathology and treatment planning” are also part of the week long celebrations.

 

(22-03-2016)

 

 

TWO DAYS WORKSHOPS ON “TRAINING NEED IDENTIFICATION” AND “CASE STUDY: PSYCHOMETRIC TECHNIQUES FOR RECRUITMENT AND SELECTION”

 

Department of Psychology organized two-day workshops on “Training Need Identification” and “Case Study: Psychometric Techniques for Recruitment and Selection” for faculty members and students of Department of Psychology. Hassan Imam Khawajaon a Certified Professional Member of American Institute of Business Psychology USA and Australian Human Resources Institute Australia. The purpose of these workshops was to give the hands on experience of the Training Need Identifications and Psychometric Techniques for Recruitment and Selection at different organizations.

 

Dr. Syeda Salma Hasan In-charge, Department of Psychology said that these workshops were organized to enable the students to develop a better insight about recruitment and selection process in various organizations.

 

Dean of Arts and Social Sciences GCU, Dr. Islam Ullah Khan was the chief guest of the closing ceremony. He said that the objectives of the workshops have been fulfilled and participants now would be in a better position to understand how organizations do training need assessment and then design trainings for the employees and they can better understand the importance of psychometric techniques used for recruitment and selection of employees. He further said in future Department will continue this type of workshops to enhance the knowledge of the students.

 

(30-12-2015)

 

 

 


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