Psychosocial and Cultural Coping Strategies for Mental Health and Substance Use Prevention and Treatment
American College of Science and Humanities initiated activities to fulfill the ISSUP mission in Sri Lanka. On June 11th 2023, the college held the inaugural psychology research conference with special focus on substance use prevention and treatment through culturally and contextually adapted strategies. The conference was convened by Dr. Thulitha Wickrama. The conference primarily discussed latest research, theory, and practice on psychosocial and cultural adapted methods of substance use prevention and treatment, and peer review journals administered by our organization (Eagon Journal of Research and Journal of Clinical, Counseling, and Health Psychology) as outlets for ongoing research. The college plans to host this conference as an annual event to further the ISSUP mission on prevention and intervention work on substance use in Sri Lanka. The full agenda of activities and several photos of the event are included in the attached brochure. The conference provided awards to the best research presentations as follows:
Ishani Kariyawasam: ‘Best Research Award in Family Relationships and Mental Health’
Vindhya Warakagoda: ‘Best Research Award in Art Therapy for Drug Use Prevention and Treatment’
Naren Selvaratnam: ‘Best Research Award in Creative Therapies for Drug Use Treatment and Prevention’
Dr Lalithadeera: ‘Best Research Award in Government Policies for Academic Programs on Drug Education’
Sivaguru Thanigaseelan: ‘Best Research Award in Youth Drug Prevention’
Further emerging from our conference, we will be commencing two art projects aimed at drug use education and prevention for youth - one will use traditional and modern dance while the other will use film to educate and prevent substance use among youth. In addition, the college will provide leadership in hosting a wellness retreat focused on substance use prevention, research training program aimed at clinical and counseling research on substance use prevention and treatment, and school based substance education program for youth.