The National Institute of Psychology (NIP) in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration hosted an international conference on “Mental Health of Afghan Refugees: Issues, Challenges, and Solutions for All Stakeholders” at Serena Hotel Islamabad on March 15, 2023. 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 Afghan refugees in Pakistan.Prof. Dr Rubina Hanif, Director NIP, the chief organizer of the conference, alongwith Dr Humaira Jami (Organizer ) and collaborators Dr MarselaNyawara and Dr Shahid Irfan (IOM) welcomed the guests and speakers.
Thechief guest of the day wasMr Faridullah Jan(Commissioner CARs, Islamabad) and Ms Mio Sato(Chief of mission IOM, Pakistan) also graced the occasion.
The conference featured three keynote speakers, including Mr. Sher Jan Ahmadzai(USA), Professor Dr. Jahanzeb Khan(VC, FATA), and Ms. Tammi Sharpe(UNHCR). Mr. Ahmadzai is a leading mental health advocate and consultant on refugee mental health.
Two-panel discussions were also held on conference day. Renowned academicians, researchers, and professionals from the Defense and Strategic Studies department Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, the Ministry of Human rights as well as the Ministry of planning, development, and reforms, Islamabad took part in these panel discussions. During the conference, participants also engaged in interactive pre-conference workshops(13-14th March, 2023), and poster presentations. Topics such as, Mental health issues and challenges, Stigma, discrimination, and marginalization, Protection risks and a mental health Building sustainable community, Gender disparity in mental health, Children and adolescents, Institutional and structural challenges and issues Resilience and coping, were the main highlights of the conference.