One Day Workshop on “Mental Health, Psychosocial Care and Crisis Management for Women in Shelter Home” by ISSUP Pakistan.

Date: 31st August 2022

Organizer: ISSUP Pakistan  

Venue: Women Shelter Home/ Govt. Social Welfare Complex, Sialkot                                      


Ms. Saima Asghar (Social Worker, Director ISSUP Pakistan) and Ms. Ayesha Bashir (Clinical Psychologist New Life Rehab Center, Sialkot)


Mr. Muhammad Sharif Deputy Director Social Welfare & Bait-Ul- Maal Sialkot, Ms. Asma Head/In charge Women Shelter Home, Mr. Ashfaq Nazar Ghumman President District NGOs Committee. 


Shelter homes are places of the temporary sanctuary provided to victims of domestic violence and their children on a round-the-clock, seven days a week basis. "Creating shelter homes has as its goal restoring the dignity of those who are homeless and spend the night in the open. It also aims to increase citizens and the government's sense of social responsibility.

The participants of the workshop included the Staff members and Residents of the shelter home. While in the audience there were also Trainee Psychologists of Government Murray Post Graduate College, Sialkot.

The Workshop started with the recitation of the Quran by the Trainee Psychologist and Naat was spoken by one of the lady from the audience.

Ms. Saima Asghar, Director of ISSUP Pakistan, started the Workshop with a Welcome note, shared the agenda of the Workshop, and also gave a brief introduction of ISSUP Global and ISSUP Pakistan as well as about the mission, aims and objective of the organization.

After this, Ms. Saima Asghar, properly started the workshop by explaining the terminology of the topic that involved mental health, psychosocial care and crisis management to the audience that mental health is the healthy mindset that involves psychological, and social well-being that affects how one thinks, feel, and act under their emotions, while the psychosocial care is the support given to help meet the mental, emotional, social, and spiritual needs of patients and their families and on the other hand crisis management consists of methods used to respond to both the reality and perception of crises, identify the triggers and working on the cognition. She also told about the role of women in building the family and society overall as they are caregivers, breadwinners, managers, administrators etc. It is crucial to note that they are the foundation on which the family is built whether a joint family or a nuclear one.

In spite of the crucial role that women hold, they are vulnerable and experience various challenging life events which involve a lack of female rights, female infanticide and foeticide, gender-biased behaviors, preference for male children, stress on education is more important for the male child. These all impact on women’s mental health because women earn less than men and often face harassment in their workplace either verbal, physical or emotional. Psychologist also explained in detail the impact of societal challenges faced by domestic girls on their mental health including that they are unable to understand the psychological issues, they focus more on physical symptoms than psychological issues, face anxiety problems, loss of intrest in their lives, excessive worry about their child future.

The reasons that the female choose the shelter home were also discussed such females most of the time come from a background where their husband didn't support them, parental, guardian ad husband death, harassment and abusive issues, and failure of love marriage that creates the sense of low self-esteem, anger and emotional problems, submissiveness, social anxiety, inferiority and trust issues in the relationship. In order women seeking care and protection, they move to shelter homes where they need food, shelter, clothing, love and respect.

After that, Ms. Ayesha Bashir Clinical Psychologist New Life Rehab Center, Sialkot shared the management of crisis that faced shelter home’s staff members and also shared the management for residential females who have anger, trust issues, stress and problem solving. For staff members, if the a sudden outbreak of Fights among the Residents, then follow some Tips which involve:

  • Separate the residents for a while
  • Ask the aggressive person to leave and come back at a time when they feel calm
  • Close monitoring to prevent further fights
  • Talk to them and find out the reasons for fights
  • Take if violence persists take disciplinary action


  • Understand the reasons for the attempt
  • Avoid confrontation or punishment for such behaviour
  • Don’t be judgmental
  • Reassure of a just and fair hearing of the problem faced by the women
  • Counsel them about the consequences of life beyond the protective environment
  • Refrain from subjective feelings coming in the way of therapeutic psychosocial intervention


  • Quickly find out the reason she decided to attempt suicide
  • Tell her that you are there to help her and solve her problems
  • Suicide is a sensitive subject. Talk to her in private. Give her enough time to feel comfortable and share her problems with you frankly.
  • Do not make judgments about her character
  • Listen to her with sympathy, encourage her to ventilate and express her problems
  • Ensure that she is out of danger in case of overdose of medicines or poison or a serious injury.
  • Medical aid must be given first
  • Ensure that the woman is constantly in the company of someone who she trusts
  • If she is at the risk of harming herself again, ensure immediate medical intervention
  • Ensure that dangerous items such as knifes, medicines etc. are kept away from her
  • Depressed patients tend to view life negatively. You can initiate positive ways of thinking
  • If the suicide attempt is serious and life threatening and if there are persisting suicidal ideas despite counseling then seek the experts for long term counseling with medication


  • During the seizure, your main aim is to ensure that the person does not injure herself. Do the following:
  • Be calm and tell other people who are around not to be afraid.
  • Try to turn her on her side and move her away from objects that she may strike herself against during the fit
  • Do not attempt to force anything between the teeth, like cloth, spoon or wooden piece. They can break the teeth or cause choking



In order to develop trust again and dealing with women trust issues, one activity was done with the clients by making two groups consisting 2 women one of them in each group blinds their eyes with dupatta and asked the 2nd woman to guide their partner to find the cues.  In the same way the other partner also followed the same instructions.  This activity would let them understand that we all the time are not writing when we got blind by the situation then a specific person will lead and guide us with the intention to achieve our goals.



  • Think before you speak. In the heat of the moment, it's easy to say something you'll later regret.
  • Take a timeout. ...
  • Once you're calm, express your concerns. ...
  • Get some exercise. ...
  • Identify possible solutions. ...
  • Stick with 'I' statements. ...
  • Don't hold a grudge. ...
  • Use humor to release tension.



Another activity was performed by the psychologist called “Balloon Therapy”, in which the females were asked to write their stressors on a chit and throw them within the balloon and blow up the balloon with negative energy and node it tightly. Then asked them to burst the balloon. If you failed to do it you can ask help or look to others who use specific ways to burst the balloon. This activity taught them we can resolve our stresses on our own but we should not feel ashamed of taking help or seeking strategies from others to resolve our stressors.


The workshop ended with positive feedback regarding the topic and its coverage.

Saima Asghar also summarized the whole session in her valuable words to guests.

Mr. Muhammad Aslam President M A Jinnah Foundation (Regd) while sharing His views once again highlighted the rights of women and their role in Society.

Mr. Ashfaq Nazar Chairman District NGOs Coordination Council also appreciated the efforts of ISSUP Pakistan and its services to the Community.

The Head/In Charge of the shelter home was also impressed and shared her gratitude to approach this Institute and also ensured her support to conduct such activities for Staff and Residents of the Shelter Home in the future.

The chief guest Mr. Shareef Ghumman Deputy Director of Social Welfare & Bait ul Maal appreciate the efforts of ISSUP Pakistan, and He asked a little bit summary of the whole workshop from the audience voluntarily and received feedback as mentioned in below!


The workshop was very effective and informative it increased my knowledge about so many concepts. The workshop was very useful because it was conducted in Bait-ul-Mal and the topic exactly followed the challenges and mental health problems of the women there which help them to boost their mental well-being. Such type of workshop should be arranged on a higher level too.