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Staying Abreast with Current Discussions on Global Crises from Psychosocial Perspectives at an IMU Symposium Webinar

06 Nov 2020

What is a global crisis? Climate change? Economic crisis? Pandemic? Terrorism? Besides the physical forms of global crises, World Health Organization has listed human factors of global crises, namely ageing population, human rights, globalisation and migration, HIV, refugee and youth’s mental health. 23 – 24 October 2020 – The IMU Psychology Department held its 1st symposium webinar, entitled – Insights into Global Crises: From Psychosocial Perspectives. The symposium was preceded with a Pre-Symposium Forum, in which Professors and professionals ranging from public health, mental health, sustainable development practitioners and marriage and family counsellors came together to discuss and share their perspectives towards “Living with COVID-19: Moving forward with the New Normal”. It is our hope that this first attempt towards creating a platform for dialogues, discussions and learning among professionals, community leaders, and community members, will become an on-going platform for ideas, solutions, implementation and policy change. At the forum and symposium, a lot of updates on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was shared and constructive solutions were also proposed. Most importantly, through the platform, initiations to network and work together were seen. Last but not least, as this pandemic is still looming and defining the new normal, Emeritus Prof Alberto Gomes’ suggestion is valuable – “while many are striking for the new normal, we need to reinstate humanity normal, because what we have been in this so far before the COVID pandemic is abnormality, as far as human nature is concerned.”

The webinar symposium attracted 50-60 participants, who are professionals from various fields. Many participants benefited from the event as the discussions are relevant and timely. Some said it is an eye-opening experience for them to see experts from various fields came together to share their views.

Participants’ Feedback
Quite well-organised in terms of schedule and structure, very informative content and excellent speakers were selected. Overall, a great experience to participate in the event.
Very interesting symposium
Day 1 was a fruitful forum. I learned a lot from the speakers! Day 2 was good and tiring but overall, it is excellent!
Very insightful course.
Good efforts on the organiser.
The symposium was well-organised and facilitated. There was a lot of useful information shared.

Acknowledgement: For both Pre-Symposium Forum and Symposium, our esteemed and eminent speakers who have contributed to the event included:

Pre-Symposium Forum
Dato Lokman Hakim Bin Sulaiman Professor in Public Health
Prof Philip George Professor in Mental Health
Dr Shahridan Faiez Experienced Practitioner in Sustainable Development and Principal Advisor for THINKCITY
Dr Nicole Chen Lee Ping Registered Counsellor who specialises in Marriage and Family

Dr Hariyati Shahrima Abdul Majid Former EXCO member of MERCY
Dr Nurashikin binti Ibrahim Ministry of Health, Sector Head of Mental Health, Substance Abuse & Violence Injury Prevention
Emeritus Prof Alberto Gomes La Trobe University, Australia

In addition, we have also invited two special guests to share their ground stories from the effects of pandemic. They are Michael Moey, servant of RUTH Educational Center (Refugee Community); and Chan Yi Bing, Master’s student from Sultan Idris Education University and lecturer from SEGI University, who shared the sustainability of private childcare centres in Malaysia. We also invited students’ participation in presenting their studies during the symposium. We are so honored that the speakers and presenters have taken time off from their busy schedule to share generously with us. We want to take this opportunity to extend our eternal gratitude to all of them.

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