The Role Of Art and Humanities

Suicide and self harm are huge public health concerns and in many countries the problem often goes unreported. Pakistan is one of the few countries where suicidal acts are still punishable by law. Due to legal issues and several other social stigmas that are attached to it the problem is largely unaddressed. The rates however are on the rise. We believe that cinema is a powerful tool, not only to entertain, but to inspire change. Pakistan Institute of Living and Learning has been using arts and humanities as a means to raise awareness and take some steps in tackling stigma.

Through poster competitions, film and role play we have created a platform to initiate discussion. Our latest film “Stray” follows the story of a young man contemplating suicide as he deals with the pressures life has handed to him. We are hopeful that we can communicate stories to stir emotion and encourage change.    

Mariam is determined to escape her conservative family by pursuing a secret romance online. When her mother suggests an arranged marriage, she refuses, saying she needs time. With the clock ticking, her romance takes a dark twist, revealing the extremes that Mariam will go to keep her relationship alive.

Role Of Film and Drama in Mental Health

The film provides us with an unusual opportunity to communicate to the world of imagination. The accurate depiction of mental health and mental illness in film is a powerful tool that can help others better understand mental health issues and in turn reduce stigma. The portrayal of mental health issues in film can be an instrument of change that can work against this stigma in multiple ways. When any country has social problems the first people to address it are the filmmakers. Before the issue is resolved in society, it is brought to the public’s attention in the form of TV dramas or films. It’s a important medium to spread awareness among masses. Role playing is another great way to gain insight into yourself and others. It can help become more sensitive to the positions of others and help you to understand how others see you as well as improve your confidence. Role playing in individual and family psychotherapy offers an exceptional tool for patients struggling with a variety of issues. When given the chance to ‘act’ in an unfamiliar role, whether as self or others, new, even life changing ideas can be covered.

Art Therapy and Health

Art therapy has been used clinically for more than a century and has been recognized as a profession since 1991. Mainly there are five primary therapies music, visual arts, movement based creative expressions, expressive writing and drama therapy. By assessing the use of these processes in clinical and qualitative trials, one can determine how others have found benefits in trying the intricacies of artistic meaning to the complexities of health and wellness. Investigating and the relationship between art and health offers some interesting ways to bridge these two important insight into each field. Following are four major fields of art playing an important role in well being of individual mental and physical health.

POSTER COMPETITION Self-Harm and Suicide Prevention in South Asia

To mark world mental health day, Pakistan Institute of Living and Learning (PILL) organized a poster competition on the theme “Self-harm and Suicide Prevention in South Asia”. Through this competition PILL intends to help those experiencing mental health difficulties such as self-harm and suicide in South Asia. Students from all over Pakistan participated in the competition. A panel of International judges evaluated 80+ entries according to the criteria. Top 20 posters were shortlisted for the final round, which were exhibited on the 7th November 2018 at the Global Mental Health Cultural Psychiatry Research Group Public Engagement Event at The Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, UK. The following top three posters were selected for awards;

Top THREE Winners !

1st Prize Winner
Zulekha Nasir from Sialkot

2nd Prize Winner
Aisha Naseer, National College of Arts (NCA), Rawalpindi

3rd Prize Winner
Iqra Naseer, Department of Psychology, Foundation University, Rawalpindi

Top 20 posters exhibited on the 7th November 2018 at the Global Mental Health Cultural Psychiatry Research Group Public Engagement Event at The Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, UK.

Self-Harm Awareness and Hope Of Recovery “It doesn’t matter how sad, broken, depressed you are, there is always a way a hope and a hand which can take you out of any situation“.  “Self-harm” is a broad term that refers to any conscious and deliberate act of harm toward oneself. The poster I have made portrays Self-Harm Awareness and Hope of Recovery from it. Basically suicide is an act of self-harm with fatal outcome. And if we try stopping self-harm we can prevent and lower the level of suicide rate among us. This poster illustrate a young woman, depressed to extent that she thinks transforming her emotional pain into physical pain can make things easier for her to handle. She feels like she can’t share her feelings, thoughts with anyone around as if she is trapped and this depresses her more. Then starts having thoughts of suicide, hurting and harming herself as she finds an escape in all these harmful acts. In great mental agony she shed tears for help. Chains here depicts that she is trapped in her own thoughts, emotions and belief that no one will come up with help and the only way to feel better is harm herself or to greater extent find an escape from reality and all this heartbreaking pain with DEATH.People may often get into depression, starts having suicidal thoughts and even attempt suicide in some cases but most of the victims believe they can never be normal again but fact remains, where there is hope and will, there is way. The hand shown from right side is external force, the one for help and the other one is of victim asking for help.By looking around we can always find our loved ones ready for us to help. All we need to do is seek for it and lend our hand to one who can hold and get us through all we have been. It’s like broken bridges can repaired if you try rebuilding them. The water here is symbolic representation of life and hope symbolizing there’s always hope and a chance of recovery but for that you need to push yourself toward believing, hope do exist and things can get better It’s uncomfortable, scary and absolutely necessary to talk about. The myths surrounding self-harm are abundant and I believe that one of the reasons for this is because not many people want to talk about it, but that fact is that many people are experiencing it. Yes, life is hard, and sometimes extremely so for certain members of the population, but there is always hope.
Made By: Aisha Tauqeer University Name : Foundation University Rawalpindi Campus (FURC) Department : BS Psychology (1st semester)

Self harm is actually a condition that arises when a person is going through various mental disorders or conditions. Here in this poster we highlighted two main domains: the first one is the negative domain which shows various disorders; on top left depression is causing self harm to the person that after controlling himself he finally decides to take his life. Right below this we see many different facets of a personality thereby showing a personality split and no sense of self which usually happens in personality disorders but specifically bpd. On the top right we see conduct behaviors and aggression which is causing potential harm to self. Below this drawing we see an anorexic girl who’s drenched in her anxieties and worries. By not eating she’s causing herself to starve and her anxiety is not finding any way to leave her. The second domain is the positive one and it somehow conquers all this turmoil. It shows us that therapy and treatment and even simply talking about it can heal you from within. We hope that we made a clear contribution towards helping people suffering from self harm and whatever causes it as:


A group work by students of BS-Psychology FURC: Fatima Waheed, Fasiha Khalid, Iqra Minal and Hareem Siddiqui.