The Department of Psychology of the School of Science and Technology, Sunway University co-organised a public forum on “Responding to Crises: How are Clinical Psychologists Relevant?” with the Malaysian Society of Clinical Psychology (MSCP), at Sunway University on 28 October 2017. The aims of this forum were (1) to present the roles clinical psychologist play in the management of various crises and to provide updated methodologies in crises intervention, and (2) to allow the public and students to mingle with clinical psychologists in a casual lunch environment. This forum had four speakers: Dr. Lynne Yong Ee Lin, consultant clinical psychologist from Penang Adventist Hospital; Dr. Siti Irma Fadhilah Ismail, clinical psychologist and senior lecturer from Universiti Putra Malaysia; Dr. Zubaidah Jamil Osman, President of MSCP and Coordinator of the Master of Clinical Psychology Programme at Cyberjaya University College of Medical Sciences; and Ms. Yang Wai Wai, clinical psychologist and lecturer from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre. The forum was moderated by Associate Professor Dr. Alvin Ng Lai Oon, who heads the Department of Psychology at Sunway University and Founding President of MSCP.
This forum was attended by 107 participants that largely made up of undergraduate and postgraduate university students. The speakers covered various areas of crises management: Psychological First Aid (PFA), dealing with violence and aggression in the workplace, managing children in crises, and addressing issues in mission trips to areas that are affected by multiple crises such as earthquake and conflicts. The presentations by the speakers led to a very active question and answer session between the speakers and the audience.
Overall,the forum was a success and the main points summarised generally acknowledges that clinical psychologists have very significant roles in managing crises situations beyond just being a mental health professional but also in managing the operations given their training in systemic mobility of human resources within well-being promotion. There was also a call for psychologists to continue pursuing adequate training and supervision in professional development, to deliver ethical and evidence-based services effectively with various stakeholders as a larger team.
This event also provided a platform to promote the Autism Café Project, which provided breakfast and lunch to the participants. Forum participants were treated to a very delicious spread of roti jala, chicken curry, nasi lemak, chicken lasagne, salad and fruits. The Autism Café Project is an effort to provide vocational opportunities for individuals above the age of 17, with autism and developmental disabilities. It is situated in iM4U Sentral at Taman Perindustrian Puchong.