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National Institute of Psychology at QAU hosts 8th International Conference

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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: A two-day international virtual conference was organized by the National Institute of Psychology (NIP), Center of Excellence, Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) Islamabad on October 21 and 22, 2021.

The institute’s 8th International Conference, “Mental Health and Productivity: The Challenges for Youth” was organized to provide opportunities for social scientists, academicians, civil society organizations, and students from all over the world to share their empirical and theoretical work to highlight issues and challenges that the youth is facing and need immediate attention.

In her opening remarks, the conference organizer, Dr. Nelofer Kiran Rauf welcomed the guests and conference delegates and shared that the event will provide a much-needed platform to engage scholars, professionals, academicians, and students not only in oral and poster presentations but also provide them with an opportunity to have an active discourse during keynote lectures and scientific sessions.

NIP Director, Prof. Dr. Rubina Hanif, in her welcome address, shared that the conference’s primary focus is on contemporary issues, trends, and challenges faced by the youth that affect various aspects of their lives. She also hoped that the mutual participation and high-quality deliberations of the conference will create an inspiring learning environment, resulting into innovative ideas.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Muhammad Idrees, Dean Faculty of Social Sciences, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad highlighted that Pakistan is facing a youth bulge and it is predicted to increase with the current rate of increase in population growth. This is not only causing frustration but also impacting youth’s mental health which is drastically leaving its impact on productivity and economic growth of the country, causing lower mental health and higher indices of illnesses in the youth. He acknowledged NIP for its commitment and drive in organizing this conference on a much-needed theme and urged the conference organizers and participants to take an in-depth insight at the issues and obstacles raised by the covid-19 pandemic among the Pakistani youth, as well as the opportunities created by the transforming patterns of their lives.

Prof. Dr. Muhammad Ali, Vice-Chancellor, Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad, in his address articulated that the conference theme was pertinent, considering the problems that the general population of Pakistan is facing.  He further stated that keeping in view the critical and challenging issues, it was high time that we focus on a national response in dealing with the crisis of mental health and the challenges it posts for growing individuals. He was hopeful that the conference will be able to generate comprehensive solutions to challenges faced by the youth and generate a body of informed deliberations on what can be done to enhance their psychological wellbeing and personal growth.

The inaugural session of the conference was followed by national and international speakers’ online keynote lectures and scientific sessions. 94 oral presentations and 167 poster presentations were listed to be presented during the two-day event.

All the presentations revolved around themes of the conference including youth mental and physical health; youth and COVID-19; youth and community; online gaming and internet addiction; youth and gender issues; digital technology and youth mental health; social media and youth mental health; cyberbullying and victimization; and youth substance abuse/addiction.

A large number of researchers, students, and teachers from universities of Pakistan and overseas participated in the conference’s 11 online scientific sessions.

Well-known researchers from England, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and India were also a part of the event and delivered their insightful keynote lectures.

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