The mental health awareness campaign “Invisible wounds of violence”

AIAS and ACKU hosted an event at the ACKU on 08 August 2018 to discuss the mental health and its link with the violence in Afghanistan.

At the beginning of the program, a welcoming note and introduction of the program were given by Mr. Asef Mehry.

Four of the professionals that are working for the mental health in Afghanistan were the speakers of the program.

Mr. Siddiqi dean of the psychology faculty of the Kabul University was the first speaker of the program. Mr. Siddiqi gave an introduction to the psychology faculty of the Kabul University and the role of the psychology in academia. Mr. Siddiqi pointed out a number of activities that have been done in the Psychology faculty of the Kabul University and its impacts on the society.

Mr. Siddiqi discussed and emphasized on the importance of having professional psychologists and psychiatrists in the country and giving the opportunities to these professionals to serve in the field of mental health care and mental health awareness.

Ms. Lyla lynn Schwartz, gave a presentation on the mental health awareness initiative by the AIAS and ACKU, discussing the aims and objectives of the program and how this program was initiated by a number of psychologists with the purpose of giving mental health awareness to the people of Afghanistan by organizing events and conferences and to work among mental health providers, psycho-social help providers to enrich the idea of providing this awareness for the people.

The main objectives of the program are to share tools, menus, technics, and training created by the NGOs and consultants. To collectively develop policies and strategies to improve mental health awareness in Afghanistan and to raise awareness about mental health and psychological needs in Afghanistan. These objectives can be achieved by creating a collaboration among the NGOs and consultant groups.

Mr. Bashir Ahmad sarwari the director of the mental health at the ministry of public health was invited to discuss the policy of government regarding the mental health in Afghanistan.

Mr. Sarwari discussed the importance of having a system for the mental health. Afghanistan’s mental health system has been launched as a new system in last few years and ministry of public health has started providing mental health services from the village’s level and has increased providing these services in the whole country.

Ministry of public health has made its mental health system according to the system provided by the world health organization that describes the mental health care system in different levels and with this system government is trying to provide mental health services to all the people despite the obstacles and the time taking process of making a services provider system to a country level.

Mr. Sajad a psychology lecturer at the university discussed the role of capacity building in the field of psychology and having professionals in the field by using the universities and creating more recourses in giving awareness about the mental health and mental health needs.

Dr. Rohullah Amin a psychologist, besides discussing the importance of mental health awareness, emphasized on taking steps in focusing on quality of the work and on taking the responsibility of mental health by everyone, not only government or psychologists as the self-care is the first step in mental health care.