The Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO) held a workshop on the psychosocial approach and well-being, where the participants discussed the launch of ICESCO Mental Health Guide and Psychosocial Guidelines, announced within the framework of its initiative ‘The Societies We Want.’
The workshop, held on Thursday (June 16, 2022), at ICESCO Headquarters, concurrently with the International Day of the African Child, brought together the representatives of specialized international and regional organizations, as well as several mental and social health experts.
At the outset of the workshop, the participants watched a video speech by Dr. Abdelilah Benarafa, Deputy Director-General of ICESCO, wherein he stressed that ‘The Societies We Want’ aims to build safe societies through experience sharing between international institutions, bodies and organizations on the future of the Islamic world after the Covid-19 pandemic.
He also pointed out that ICESCO held a high-level virtual meeting, in June 2020, to discuss citizens’ mental health, which is one of the major repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic. The meeting’s recommendations included the preparation of a guide on mental and psychosocial health to strengthen Member States’ resilience during crises and situations of vulnerability.
Ms. Ramata Almami Mbaye, Head of the Human and Social Sciences Sector, then explained that the workshop focuses on highlighting the various approaches adopted by all partners to prepare the Mental and Psychosocial Health Guide. “It is an opportunity to enrich the discussion on the importance of mental and social health in achieving the well-being of societies,” he added.
In her statement, Ms. Naseem Awl, Deputy Representative of UNICEF in Morocco, commended ICESCO’s initiative aimed at contributing to the debate on mental health through a psychological and social approach, with a focus on the child, and reviewed UNICEF’s key initiatives in this field. Ms. Maimouna Sissoko, Director General of the National Agency for Early Childhood in Senegal, stressed the need to build fruitful cooperation with ICESCO to protect child mental health and build their capacities.
Dr. Jalal Taoufik, psychiatrist and member of the International Narcotics Control Board, said that children cannot live isolated from their families, stressing that we must develop their self-esteem to enjoy a balanced life. Mr. Mohamed Hedi Shili, Director of the Department of Legal Affairs and International Standards at ICESCO, indicated that the guide will serve as a reference for the Member States to build a better future.
In his statement, Dr. Mustafa Razzazi, President of the Moroccan Observatory on Extremism and Violence, stressed the importance of the guide, which takes into account the social differences of Muslim countries and relies on an age group method.
Ms. Amira El-Fadil, Head of Partnerships and International Cooperation Sector at ICESCO, underlined that cooperation between organizations and institutions ensures the success of the guide. Dr. Kais Hammami, Director of ICESCO Center for Strategic Foresight, indicated that forward planning helps achieve the well-being of societies.
The participants then exchanged ideas and opinions on the theme of the workshop.