The Faculty of Human Sciences at Beirut Arab University organized an International Conference entitled “Personality and Health Psychology” at Beirut Campus. The conference was held under the patronage of the Vice President of the Minister of Councils and the Minister of Public Health H.E. Mr. Ghassan Hasbani, represented by Dr. Rabih Shammaie, Director of the National Mental Health Program. The conference was attended by Prof. Amr Galal El Adawi, President of the University, academics and specialists, researchers and scholars from a number of Arab and foreign countries, as well as the students. MP and cardiologist, Deputy Dr. Bassem Chabb was the keynote speaker the two-day conference.
After the National and the BAU Anthems were played, Dr. Laila Helmi presented the opening session, introducing Prof. Mayssah El Nayal, Dean of the Faculty of Human Sciences at BAU. In her word, the Dean offered a definition of health psychology, explaining its focus on physical disorders, chronic diseases, tumors and smoking cessation. She also referred to studies that establish a connection between personality and health psychology, stating that there are certain determinant factors in personality that may lead to good or bad health. The Dean pointed out that the conference aims to explore, discuss, debate and recommend.
Ms. Jihan Kaissi delivered the word of the civil society, stressing the fact that their aim is the prosperity of humans. She added that UN data indicates that there are around 142 million persons in the world in need of humanitarian aid, distributed in 40 countries around the world. Calling upon the audience not to lose hope, she highlighted the values that civil society organizations have upheld, including professionalism, neutrality, transparency and respect.
Mr. Bashir Hussein spoke for APHEDA, highlighting that the organization supports projects in Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, and other countries in Africa and Asia. He also emphasized the link between the civil society and academics, stressing the need for coordination among them.
Mr. Hanna Khoury delivered the word of GLOBAL ELT Solutions, celebrating the academic Memorandum of Understanding recently concluded between the publisher and BAU, towards the fostering of educational values.
Prof. Amr Galal El Adawi’s word maintained that with the increasing problems and conflicts the world faces, there is a rise in the psychological and emotional stress people feel. He highlighted the diverse interests of the conference which are a contribution to a world-wide dialogue, stating that the papers discussed at the conference will have a positive impact on both psychology and human health.
The last word delivered was that of H.E. Minister Hasbani, presented by his representative Dr. Shammaie, who explained that mental health is the foundation for health. He indicated the current prevalence of psychological diseases, since one out of four persons is facing some kind of psychological disorder in their lives.
He also pointed out that the necessary health services are absent, stating that one out of every 10 people is incapable of accessing mental health services. Traditional culture that most people uphold leads them to avoid the therapist as shameful.
He invited Beirut Arab University to a cooperation with the Ministry’s Strategic Mental Health Program in the coming years, since the Ministry has great respect for the University’s efforts in research.