National Institute of Psychology, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad

Dr. Muhammad Ajmal

Centre of Excellence, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad

NIP-IOM Conference 280624

International Conference on
Uplifting Mental Health of Vulnerable Segments of Population
28th June 2024

National Institute of Psychology (NIP) with sponsorship by the International Organization for Migration hosted an international conference on “Uplifting Mental Health of Vulnerable Segments of Population” at Tulip Hotel Islamabad. The event brought together stakeholders, researchers, practitioners, and policymakers from across the globe to discuss issues, challenges, and solutions related to the mental health of vulnerable segments of the population in Pakistan for example, the problems of transgenders and their solutions were also discussed. The conference started with the recitation of the Holy Quran. After the national anthem, Dr. Humaira Jami (Organizer) discussed the purpose of this project/conference. 

Prof. Dr. Rubina Hanif, Director / Chief Organizer, welcomed the guests and expressed her best wishes for the bright future of the weaker segments. She emphasized great importance on collective efforts in uplifting these communities and emphasized the critical role we all can play in improving their mental health. She also highlighted various initiatives and programs of NIP designed to support the mental well-being of the vulnerable populations, stressing the need for increased awareness and resources. She encouraged collaboration between different stakeholders, including healthcare professionals, educators, and community leaders, to create a comprehensive support system. Our worthy guests Prof. Dr. Ziaul Haque along with other distinguished guests Dr. Shahid Irfan (National Program officer, IOM) Prof. Dr. Fayyaz Hussain (University of Michigan, USA), Dr. Parvaiz Shaukat ( Associate public health officer, UNHCR) and Dr. Anila Kamal shared their experiences to the event via their speeches and concerns related to the mental health of vulnerable segments of the population and stressed on the action to solve the mental problems of the vulnerable segments of population in the future. Two Panel discussions were held in different sessions for worthy guest panelists titled ‘’How to Prioritize Mental Health Through Structural and Social Change’’ and ‘’How to Strengthen the Role of Service Providers and Stakeholders in Improving the Mental Health of Vulnerable Groups’’.
During the conference, participants participated in a poster presentation and prizes were distributed among the first three winning participants. At the conference, the mental health problems of the vulnerable segments of the population, children, youth, and women, and the elimination of gender disparity and discrimination were emphasized, and the importance of restructuring the institutions and framing new regulations was emphasized. At the end of the conference, Vice Chancellor Quaid-e-Azam University Islamabad Dr. Niaz Ahmad Akhtar (STI), and Rana Mashhood (Chief Guest, Coordinator of Prime Minister Youth Program) appreciated the efforts of the National Institute of Psychology for organizing the conference. He wished for a strong future for the vulnerable segments of the population in Pakistan. Professor Dr. Rubina Hanif thanked all the worthy guests who came to join us on this occasion and to IOM. The conference ended with the message of Vice Chancellor Quaid-e-Azam University Dr. Niaz Ahmad Akhtar (STI) that Quaid-e-Azam University will always continue to provide support to the National Institute of Psychology for outreach services. Overall, the conference ended successfully. The participants were provided with new ideas, insights, and practical and valuable information. The National Institute of Psychiatry is committed to continuing its efforts towards the mental health of vulnerable groups.

Photo Gallery of NIP-IOM International Conference
28th June 2024

Pre-Conference Workshop on
Uplifting Mental Health of Vulnerable Segments of Population
27 June, 2024

A training workshop on “Workshop on Uplifting Mental Health of Vulnerable Segments of Population” was organized by the National Institute of Psychology on 27 June, 2024. The resource person of the workshop was Dr. Humaira Jami, Assistant Professor National Institute of Psychology. She has 21 years of teaching and research experience. She did Post-Doctorate in 2022 under Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program from University of Nebraska at Omaha, USA. Her focus in research was enhancing self-efficacy, attitude, and knowledge of medical students in Pakistan for healthcare needs of transwomen. She is actively involved in course development and capacity building of personnels of various organizations.
The workshop formally commenced after recitation of Holy Quran and standing in honor for National Anthem. Professor Dr. Rubina Hanif, Director National Institute of Psychology (NIP) welcomed the participants of the workshop and shared the vision and mission of NIP. Prof. Dr. Hanif shared information about the study programs being carried out at NIP and the community services rendered by the Institute.
Prior to this workshop three series of training workshops each were carried out on uplifting mental health of children and adolescents, women, elderly, and socioeconomically disadvantaged individuals respectively. The participants of the workshop were rendering their services in public and private sector organizations of Pakistan and were majorly psychologists, physicians, consultants, counselors, therapists, academicians, and research assistants.
The resource person specifically focused on threats and challenges faced by the vulnerable segments of population. Participants were divided into four groups: 1. children and adolescents 2. women 3. elderly, and 4. socioeconomically disadvantaged individuals. The participants had to brain storm on the unique challenges, and strengths of the respective vulnerable segment of the population. They had to come up with some conceptual models and suggestions for empowering the vulnerable population. Later on one member of each group rigorously presented the challenges, protective factors, moderating factors, and strategies to overcome vulnerability , and empowerment of the vulnerable group through oral presentations.
The workshop concluded on a note by Dr. Kashif Irshad, Adviser, National Heritage and Culture Division, Government of Pakistan and Senior Manager / Additional Director General, Countering Violent Extremism Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Centre of Excellence on Countering Violent Extremism was the guest of honor. Dr. Irshad distributed certificates among the participants and appreciated the commendable initiative taken by NIP for advocacy of uplifting mental health of different segments of population.This workshop was held in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM). It aimed to enhance awareness, knowledge, and skills related to uplifting the mental health and empowerment of women.
Prof. Dr. Rubina Hanif thanked IOM, for providing funds to take these initiatives for the wellbeing of vulnerable community. She also paid gratitude to Pakistani Diasporas (i.e, Dr. Fayyaz Hussain, Dr. Shaista Waqar, Ms. Sonia Ahmad, Dr. Kaneez Fatima Shad) for rendering their services in this project. She also acknowledged the partnership of collaborators i.e., Paigham-e-Pakistan, Rehmat Foundation (US and Pak), VAT (Pakistan, Canada), Aurat Foundation, and International Islamic Research Centre (IIRC) who supported through expert human resources.