Developing psycho-social resilience in school children

Friday 20 June 2014, 2.00PM to 4pm


Pakistan is a country of 180 million inhabitants and one of the poorest in the world (GDP $1295 per capita). It has been victim of geopolitical instability for nearly 3 decades and its fragile economy has been pillaged by war, terrorism and even natural disasters of the worst order seen in history. For years its people have been inflicted with the wrath of the most sophisticated technology in warfare, in addition suffering indiscriminate suicide bombings, mass killings and recurring natural calamities including earthquakes, droughts and floods.   These have taken a toll on the emotional and psychological status of its people and the inherent resilience of its social structure has been adversely affected. Intolerance, aggression violence, crime, corruption and radicalization have become rampant while homicide and suicide rates have increased to alarming proportions. The social system is becoming exceedingly toxic with erosion of basic human values, human rights and increasing religious extremism.    

By 2020 mental illnesses are projected to become one of three leading causes of disability world wide and Pakistan with its increasing poverty, inequality, insecurity and social toxicity would in all likelihood end up with significantly higher proportion of incapacitated individuals. The cost of disease burden would be phenomenal for the country and this combined with its disintegrating social system, failing economy and religious intolerance could have serious repercussions globally.   Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation & Teaching Trust has been supporting Pakistan since the massive earthquake hit the country in 2005. The Trust supported disaster relief operations then by training professionals in psychological trauma management and treatment of common mental illnesses and similarly also after flood disasters in 2010-11.  To date 1400 professionals have been trained including doctors, nurses, school teachers, police officers and para medics. More recently in 2013 Sussex Partnership has agreed a MOU with Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) to help in developing and implementing integrated health program in schools. The schools program would help evolve a more civil society by enhancing psycho-social resilience in children and also prevent mental illness. Sussex Partnership is looking for reputable academic partners to collaborate in developing and evaluating the school health program which will be piloted in two districts in Pakistan during 2014-15.

Presented by: Dr Shakil Malik, Consultant Psychiatrist & Senior Clinical Director at Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation & Teaching Trust

Location: ReCSS Training Room, Innovation Close, University of York