International Studies & Programs


Pakistan Mental Health Initiatives

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Published: Wednesday, 26 Feb 2020 Author:

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Dr Abbasi signs an MOU with the Univeristy of Punjab on behalf of MSU

Dr Farha Abbasi traveled to Pakistan during January 2020 to initiate Muslim Mental Health programs on behalf of Michigan State University Department of Psychiatry.   Mental Health in Pakistan is attracting priority by the highest office of the President - recently a Presidential Initiative to Promote Mental Health of Pakistanis has been launched.  Dr Abbasi is a core faculty member of three ISP departments: Muslim Studies Program, Asian Studies Center and the Center for Gender in Global Context.

Dr Abbasi met with:

  • The State Minister for Health Dr Zafar Mirza Assured full support on behalf of the Government of Pakistan to the initiative by MSU for research and capacity building for mental health in Pakistan.
  • Dr Syed Usman Hamdani PhD , MBBS; - Clinical Lecturer, Global Mental Health, University of Liverpool, UK; Director , Human Development Research Foundation, Pakistan; Clinical Research Fellow, Institute of Psychiatry, WHO Collaborating Center for Mental Health Research and Training, Pakistan
  • Inter-Secretary/Minister for Interprovincial coordination regarding Sports Psychiatry
  • Special Olympic team members, physicians, coaches
  • signing of MOU with Punjab University, meetings with PU Vice Chancellor Niaz Ahmad, Dr Rafia Rafique
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Dr Abbasi meets with Pakistani Special Olympics athletes and coaches

MSU will take the lead by:

  • Helping build capacity for child mental health in Pakistan by introducing a fellowship scheme , ( there are only 2 child psychiatrist in Pakistan and no fellowship program) whereby the fellows get observer-ship opportunities in MSU followed by remote supervision of the fellows by MSU faculty.  This fellowship can help build capacity to start the child psych fellowship in Pakistan by the trained fellows by a cascade down effect
  • Embed research in the ongoing at-scale implementation of WHO school mental health program in Pakistan

The following pages include news clippings and flyers of participating events.



Dr Abbasi gives a presentation on Mental Health at Dawood University in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan