With the participation of psychological and educational researchers from Palestine, Syria, Morocco, Egypt and Algeria, Arab American University organized a scientific day through Zoom entitled “The Impact of COVID-19 on the Psychological Health”
Dr. Bashar Daraghmeh- the Dean of Student Affairs _representing the university President_ opened the scientific day by welcoming the international researchers who participated in the event. He assured that such meetings and discussions are important to enhancing the Arabic, scientific and cultural communication and positive discourse about COVID-19 to come up with valuable recommendations that will help in providing solutions on how to co-live with this virus until an effective vaccine is found.
Dr. Layla Herzallah- the Mental and Educational Health Consultant in AAUP moderated the scientific day sessions.
The first session started with a presentation of a scientific paper entitled “The Psychological, Social and Educational Implications of COVID-19 and the Best Ways to Deal with it” by Prof. Mohammad Shaheen form Al-Quds Open University.
Dr. Marsalina Hassan from Syria talked about the grief and mourning that the families who suffer from COVID-19 feel, and how it affects their psychological health.
In his speech, Dr. Ibrahim Almasry from Hebron University discussed the anecdotal therapy and its role in improving the psychological relief for COVID-19 patients.
The session was concluded by Dr. Wa’el Abu Alhasan from Arab American University who presented a case that was treated clinically after being affected with social stigma and needed rehabilitation.
The second session focused on the scientific participation of Dr. Mahmoud AlBaraghethi from Al Aqsa University entitled “Psychological Anxiety and Psychological Coping Strategies during COVID-19”
Dr. Mariam Medawi from Faculté des Sciences Dhar El Mehraz in Morocco discussed a scientific paper about “Social Intelligence in Dealing with COVID-19”.
While Dr. Nahid AlArja from Bethlehem University talked about the impact of COVID-19 on the psychological health of university students and the impact of the e-learning.
In her turn, Dr. Muna Owais from Cairo University talked about the psychological health of elderly people during COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Layla Herzallah also participated in the discussion with a scientific paper where she focused on the existential anxiety in people especially when kids returned back to schools, and how to manage it and get rid of it.
During the Scientific Day, many valuable discussions were presented by Dr. Sahrawi Intisar from University of Bejaia in Algeria and the manager of the Mental Health and Neurosciences Lab, Dr. Diya’ Abu Own from Al Aqsa University, Dr, Munir Radwan and Dr. Mohammad Abu Halawa from Damanhour University in Egypt. All of them added a great value to the discussion in the sessions with scientific information, and this helped in concluding very important recommendations such as: firstly, the need to form research groups to keep up with the scientific developments in the mental health field during COVID-19. Secondly, the Ministry of Education must rebuild the educational system and assess students’ educational status under COVID-19 pandemic; and to intense the work of psychologists in schools and universities, so that students will have a decent health level and strong mental immunity. Thirdly, people must be more aware of the health issues and more workshops should be organized as they are highly important in protecting people from new mental disorders affecting their lives. Finally, many tactics and strategies can be used to lessen the mental disorders, and so universities in specific should focus more on the psychological and mental health for all students by organizing conferences and workshops.