It's okay to talk about your mental health, says academicians, psychologists and medical professionals on Wednesday at a conference at GC University Lahore, urging people to keep conversations going to remove the stigma and to normalize the way we look at mental health disorders.
GCU Vice Chancellor Prof. Asghar Zaidi chaired the mental health conference titled "its okay not to be okay" organized by the University’s Medicare Club.
“Mental health is always and almost ignored in Pakistan till it reaches to the level of suicidal ideation,” Prof Dr Javed Akram, vice chancellor of the University of Health Sciences (UHS) Lahore, adding that health is as important as physical health.
GCU Vice Chancellor Prof. Asghar Zaidi asked students not to shy away from seeking professional help if they facing any mental issue. "It is not that there's something wrong with you, it just as when we have pain or fever, we go to a doctor. In the same way, we should deal with our mental health," he said.
He appreciated the role of GCU Medicare Club in raising awareness about health issues. He urged the students to engage in positive and welfare activities that can bring change in society and also in themselves.
Prof. Zaidi also said that this year, GCU gave additional admission seats to the differently able students especially visually-impaired. He said they are holding special additional classes for visually-impaired students to facilitate their learning.
Prof. Dr. Amina Faisal, the chairperson of Lahore College for Women University Psychology Department, stressed the need for judicious and intelligent use of social networking websites by youth, saying that spending extraordinary time on social media including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram lead to nothing but depression and loneliness.
“Unnecessary life comparisons with others by watching their stories and posts cause jealously and ultimately depression, and on other feeling of insecurity is generated if you are trolled on your pictures and videos,” she explained.
Prof. Dr. Salma Hassan, the chairperson of GCU Psychology Department, said volunteering for community service and helping other individuals reduces stress and increases positive, relaxed feelings.
President Milestone M. Shafiq-ur-Rahman, art therapist Asim Amjad, Associate Professor Dr. Iffat Batool and Rising Sun Institute CEO Usman Jawad also addressed the conference.