As many as 446, 511, 318 people around the world were infected with Covid-19 out of which 6, 004, 421 persons could not be survived while 380, 489, 141 people have recovered from the pandemic.

 

It has also affected interpersonal relationships and the mental health problems leads to new problems as well as its negative impact on daily activities were also reported due to obvious reasons. Suicidal ideation, risky behavioral tendencies, and drug and substance use had led to mental problems in many countries since the Coivd-19 outbreak as the majority of the world had to impose lockdowns to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

 

These views were expressed by the head of the department of psychology of the Kabarak University Kenya Dr James kay while delivering a keynote address during the inaugural session of one-day long second international conference on “post covid impact on mental health of millennial: physical, social and educational challenges”.

 

The event was organized by the department of psychology while it was held at the Karachi University Business School Auditorium on Thursday.

 

Dr James Kay shed light on millennials mental health during the pandemic and also mentioned the influences on financial, health, and family matters regarding different generations. He observed that psychiatrists from different parts of the world believe that the impacts of Covid-19 are long-lasting and it would take a lot of time to recover from the financial losses.

 

The chief guest, Senator, and President Sindh Mental Health Authority Dr Karim Khawaja said that Covid-19 has affected all walks of life in political, social, and economic spheres. He added that for the first time, psychologists from the University of Karachi and the University of Sindh have been taken on board for counseling and mentioned that the students of both varsities would be now able to visit Jinnah and Civil Hospital for training. He termed such conferences as an important need of the hour.

 

Meanwhile, speaking on the occasion, the acting Vice Chancellor of the University of Karachi Professor Dr Nasira Khatoon said that the Covid-19 has adversely affected not only human health but also their personality and attitudes.

 

She said that during the pandemic situation we have witnessed the weaknesses in our healthcare system. Professor Dr Nasira Khatoon observed that a pandemic entails a potential risk of an outbreak of mental health issues and advised that a well-developed healthcare system is needed. There is a dire need to give due attention to the mental health of the people. She advised that we need to include the field of research, education, and health in our priorities.

 

Earlier, conference coordinator, Professor Dr Farah Iqbal, said that mental health has been severely affected due to Covid-19. She said that on the other hand, due to new hi-tech many countries introduced innovative ideas to come out of losses cost by the Covid-19.

 

Professor Dr Farah Iqbal shared that 25 speakers and 46 scientific papers and six poster presentations from all over Pakistan from various universities around the world which includes Kabarka University, Kenya, University of Birmingham, UK, Rutgers University, USA, FATA University, University of Sindh, University of Bahawalpur and others had taken part in the event.

 

The Chairperson Department of Psychology Professor Dr Qudsia Tariq elaborated on the research and teaching activities and social services carried out by the department and briefed the participants on the aims and objectives of the conference.

 

She mentioned that the conference aims to take into account the positive mental and physical health outcomes as well as facilitate and support our researchers along with community health practitioners and policymakers.

 

Later, a plenary session was conducted in which experts in the field of mental health shared their papers. Meritorious Professor Dr Mohammad Iqbal Afridi, Dean Faculty of Psychiatry at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Pakistan highlighted the post-pandemic impacts on physical and mental health and discussed the social, emotional, and physical risk factors. Dr Mohammad Zeeshan from Rutgers University, USA, discussed the challenges with post-Covid-19 parenting and how parents can cope with these adverse effects by providing effective parenting and guidance strategies.

 

Dr Asif Khan and Dr Yasmin Khan, clinical psychologists from Chicago highlighted the social impacts of Covid-19 and shared a paper on the story of hope and despair, in regards to Covid, respectively.

 

Dr Erfana Shah, the Chairperson at the Department of Psychology, University of Sindh, also addressed the participants and focused on the emerging psychological and educational challenges.

 

Meanwhile, two scientific sessions were also conducted in which 22 research papers were presented by research scholars from different universities. Professor Dr Aneeq Ahmad at Henderson State University shared a research study on loneliness in old people.

 

Founder of Transformation International Society, Dr Imran Mohammad Yousuf highlighted the importance of transforming the lives of youth after the pandemic has passed. Dr Afsheen Anwar, a clinical psychologist from Canada, highlighted the strategies and interventions for combating post-Covid-19 challenges at the workplace and Dr Batool Fatima, Fulbright scholar from the USA focused on the youth and suggested interventions for improving the mental health of youth during Covid-19

Author

Arshad Yousafzai is a Karachi-based journalist covering Education and Human Rights. He can be reached on Twitter @Arshadyousafzay

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