ISLAMABAD-Experts at a workshop stressed the need for collective responsibility and determination to prioritize mental health as a fundamental human rights concern.
Over 700,000 people worldwide take their own life each year by suicide, according to statistics reported by the World Health Organization (WHO).
These figures were shared by Dr Fayaz Amir, a mental health expert during a workshop held at the University of Chitral the other day in collaboration with the Ministry of Human Rights and the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).
The consultative workshop brought together representatives from various organizations and departments to address the critical issue of mental health in our society.
Dr Fayaz Amir delivered a comprehensive presentation on the causes of suicide.
Another mental health expert Dr Amir presented the findings of a study conducted by Peshawar University, which reported 176 cases of suicide in Chitral between 2013 and 2019.
Zahid Rehan Niazi, Regional Director of the Ministry of Human Rights in Peshawar, provided an overview of the aims and objectives of the workshop, highlighting the importance of raising awareness and formulating effective strategies to protect mental health as a fundamental human right.
Nasar Khan, a lecturer at the Department of Sociology, University of Chitral, conducted another technical session focusing on the role of academia in preventing suicide.
He shed light on the responsibilities of educational institutions and shared insights on how academia can contribute to suicide prevention efforts.
Addressing the social aspects of suicide, Niaz A. Niazi, a prominent human rights activist from Chitral, presented various suggestions aimed at preventing suicide among youth.
He highlighted that while mental disorders can contribute to suicidal tendencies, there are several social issues that act as triggers.
The religious perspective on suicide was presented by Fazal Maula, District Khateeb of Chitral, and Khaliq uz Zaman, Khateeb Shahi Masjid Chitral.
They underscored that suicide is strictly prohibited in Islam and provided insights into Islamic teachings and principles related to mental well-being.
Ibad ur Reham, representing the Ismaili Tariqa and Religious board, presented solutions from an Islamic standpoint to address the underlying causes of suicide.
He emphasized the importance of spiritual guidance and community support in promoting mental health and well-being.
The concluding remarks were delivered by Fida ul Karim, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Upper Chitral.
He highlighted that suicide is a complex issue with multiple causes, including mental health challenges, economic conditions, and a sense of hopelessness.
Karim emphasized the need for collaborative efforts among various stakeholders to effectively address this issue.
Zia ur Rehman, a lecturer in the Department of Management Sciences and Rukhsana Omer from the Ministry of Human Rights served as the focal person and moderator of the session, ensuring a constructive and engaging discourse.
Prof. Dr Tajudin, Acting Vice Chancellor of the University of Chitral, welcomed the distinguished guests, expressing the university’s commitment to addressing mental health challenges in the region.