The recent Covid-19 pandemic has resulted into various inequalities at the social and economic level particularly in a developing country like Pakistan. Due to lockdown, people faced and are still facing a gross decrease in financial output and social disparities that has escalated their stress. In this regard, role of mental health practitioners become important. To highlight the importance of psychologists in helping the individuals cope with their stress, Mental Health Day (MHD) with the theme “Mental health in an unequal world: Role of Psychologists in coping with inequality thus enhancing mental health“ was organized by the Department of Applied Psychology, Al-Mizan Campus, Riphah International University, Islamabad on October 27th, 2021. The event was organized by Dr. Phil. Hina Ghafoor (Assistant Professor, Department of Applied Psychology, Al-Mizan Campus, RIU, Islamabad) under the headship of Dr. Rabia Hanif (Assistant Professor, Acting HOD, Department of Applied Psychology, Al-Mizan Campus, RIU, Islamabad).
To implement the plans faculty and students of the Department of Applied Psychology, participated actively by preparing posters explaining different disorders. Moreover, different stalls were arranged in which the focus was to provide on-site therapy regarding any psychological problem. Keeping in mind the RAS (Riphah Aspires Students) model, counselling was provided in reference to the basic themes of RAS model namely Al-Akhirah, Itqan, Rahmah, Mushawarah, Ijtimayiah, and Muhasabah. Futhermore, different game activities were planned to boost the morale of students. Those game activities also focused on assertiveness training and self-esteem building. Psychology department representatives also encouraged their students to prepare different models representing psychological themes to win the award for the best model. Students also performed a skit on the role of family in providing immediate support before the child attempts suicide due to his/her psychological issues.
Formally, the MHD event started with the recitation of Holy Quran. Afterwards Dr Rabia Hanif gave an introductory and welcome note. She emphasized the importance of the event and thanked all the participants for their participation. It was followed by the talks of significant individuals namely Prof. Dr. Anis Ahmad (VC, RIU), Dr. Atiq-uz-Zafar Khan (Dean, FSSH, RIU) as well as Brig. Dr. Maqsood-ul-Hassan (VP, IIMC, RIU). Moreover, our external guest Prof. Dr. Shazia Hassan (HOD, Psychology Department, University of Central Punjab, Lahore) shared her views via online medium. They all explained the challenges this world and in particular Pakistan is facing while dealing with inequalities. They also emphasized the importance of psychologists in dealing with the escalated crises due to associated high stress levels. At the end of the event, Prof. Dr. Anis Ahmad (VC, RIU) appreciated all the faculty and students and encouraged to have more events like this in the future to raise awareness among the public. Moreover, he distributed shields and gifts among the honorable guests and the organizers.