BRAC Institute of Educational Development (BRAC IED), BRAC University organized a seminar to commemorate World Suicide Prevention Day, which was held on 10th September 2023 at BRAC University Auditorium.
The seminar titled “A Conversation on Hope, Healing and Action” emphasized the necessity of our collective effort to increase awareness regarding suicide prevention and addressing related challenges.
This seminar aimed to create a positive impact through holistic awareness raising and effective initiatives among those suffering from mental health conditions and suicidal ideation Professor Dr. AQM Shafiul Azam, Director, Planning, and Development Division, Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education (DSHE), Samir Ranjan Nath, Programme Head, Research Lead, BRAC Institute of Educational Development, BRAC University, Prof. Dr. Md. Mahmudur Rahman, Pro Vice-Chancellor, IUBAT, Sara Zaker, Actor, Director, Business Entrepreneur and Social activist, Dr. Tabassum Amina, Assistant Professor & Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Team Lead, BRAC IED attended the event as guests.
BRAC IED, MHPSS Lead, Dr. Tabassum Amina, said that “BRAC IED’s Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) initiatives have a core philosophy of co-creating interventions within and across communities.
These initiatives are evidence-based and culturally contextualized, aiming to serve and empower communities both nationally and internationally.
These intervention approaches are implemented by more than 45 psychologists along with 700 paracounsellors working tirelessly from humanitarian to other contexts across Bangladesh, she added.”
Samir Ranjan Nath, the Research Lead and Program Head of ‘BRAC IED’ states, “At every stage of a child’s development from conception to upbringing, the efforts of parents, caregivers, schools, society, community, and state must come together to ensure a healthy environment for the child.
This will ensure that the child grows up in a nurturing environment to secure social-emotional development, leading to holistic physical, mental, and social well-being.”
DSHE’s Planning and Development Director, Professor Dr. AQM Shafiul Azam, said, “Many young people in our country are frustrated from a professional perspective.
These frustrations can have a negative impact on their mental health in the future.
To mitigate these professional frustrations, the Bangladesh Government has introduced an educational program targeted to develop life skills of children.
In this program, children will learn about various subjects and cultivate their interests, which will help them enter their chosen professions in the future.”
Sara Zaker Said, “Media personalities should share their own stories of hardship in the media, and alongside, should converse on how they systematically overcame these frustrations.
These stories should gain more prominence through mass media so that the younger generation becomes interested in discussing their struggles and receives guidance on solving their issues”.
Participants highlighted a multi-faceted approach that operates on numerous fronts: individual, community, and population levels. This comprehensive strategy was the cornerstone of the recent seminar.
Understanding suicide risk factors in Bangladesh and identifying vulnerable groups like adolescents and young adults is crucial for effective preventive measures and tailored mental health awareness initiatives.
Increased public awareness helps reduce stigma and misconceptions.
For the coming years, together in solidarity, BRAC has set out a series of forward-thinking strategic priorities in regard to mental health, which will address both ongoing mental health difficulties prevalent in society and a vision of how services can be adaptive and responsive to new challenges posed on individuals, communities, and society.
“BRAC IED” aims to create an inclusive and empathetic environment for every individual in society, where people stand by each other.
The organizers hope to disseminate this philosophy through today’s seminar.