A panel discussion on mental health of students was held here on the fourth day of All Pakistan Summit for Student Societies at the Government College University (GCU) Lahore.
Eminent psychologists and academicians participated in the discussion titled “How to attain mental health, patience, stress management of in higher education institutions by introducing Spiritualism”
Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Asghar Zaidi said that mental health shouldn’t be made a stigma and should be treated as any other disease. “We will keep on suffering until this stigma is gone. We have a lady counselor on the campus for students especially the girls who are too shy to open up,” he said.
Consultant Psychiatrist Dr. Aneel Shafi said about 75% of mental health problems are reported in the age group 10 to 24 years, as biological, psychological and social factors causes a devastating effect upon mental health in such crucial years of ones life.
“Stress is at least in 50% of the students which is negatively impacting their life. Almost 70-80% people do not seek any help and take any treatment,” Dr. Shafi added.
FCC University Assistant Professor Ms. Aisha Ateeq shed light on how psychological health and spirituality goes together, saying that spirituality is basically purification of soul. “A soul must be free of biases, self-synthesized conclusions and negative thinking.
After positive thinking, comes acceptance. We must accept ourselves as we are, we should not compare ourselves with others instead we must compare ourselves with the version we were before,” she added.
“After acceptance comes the process of letting go and forgiveness. We should let go of negativity and of experiences that disturb our heart,” she concluded.
Dr. Amina Ubaid from LCWU said we need to know what spirituality and religion offers us that secular scientific knowledge and logic cannot. “One thing that spirituality offers us is the purpose and meaning of life that secular scientific knowledge shies away from,” she said.
Senior clinical psychologist Dr. Mirrat Gul Butt said first of all there are our physiological needs that come before the physical needs.
GCU student Ali Haider Chatta said interpersonal relationships are a leading causing of keeping the students in prolonged stresses which leads to mental health problems. After that comes ego, and gender sensitivity and stereotypes also cause huge stresses in male and female students such as “men do not cry” and for females “Itna Parh likh kr kya karo gee”, he said.
GCU Psychology Department Chairperson Dr. Salma Hassan said a mentally healthy student is a student who has a ability to enjoy a bonding with teachers and fellows and who is able to cope with adverse circumstances. She said three things are important in mental health: emotional wellbeing, psychological well-being and social well-being.