KARACHI: Around 50 million people are suffering from common mental disorders in Pakistan. The illness afflicts 15 to 35 million adults, which is about 10 to 20 per cent of the population.

“Approximately 20 million children or 10pc of the population in our country need attention from mental health practitioners,” said Dr Ayesha Mian, chairperson of the department of psychiatry at the Aga Khan University (AKU) at a dialogue held on mental health at the Karachi Press Club on Saturday.

The session was organised in connection with World Mental Health Day being observed on Oct 10.

Dr Mian said there was a perception that people with mental illness were violent, looked different from others, and could never get better or could not be productive members of society.

“Such misleading stereotypes impact adversely on these people’s struggle to cope with their condition.”

“Studies show that people with mental illness are much more likely to be a victim than a perpetrator. Media should come forward and be strong partners against this social bias,” she said. She said family members, friends and the society in general had a vital role to play in helping people recover from mental illness. They needed positive attitude and acceptance of their conditions.

“Unfortunately, there are only 400 trained psychiatrists in the country.”

Published in Dawn October 9th, 2016

Opinion

Danger lurks
27 Sep 2021

Danger lurks

The colonial mindset continues to percolate.
Dance of death
Updated 27 Sep 2021

Dance of death

India is happily flirting with extermination.
Climate of change
Updated 26 Sep 2021

Climate of change

The world faces a climate emergency as the toll on people’s lives and livelihoods keeps growing.

Editorial

Phasing out coal
Updated 27 Sep 2021

Phasing out coal

Move affords Pakistan an opportunity to renegotiate its deals with Beijing to convert them into cheaper, clean energy projects.
27 Sep 2021

Poor online score

A RECENT report by Freedom House, the US-based watchdog that assesses democratic trends around the world, has placed...
27 Sep 2021

Child’s mental capacity

CONVERTING to another faith is one of the most consequential decisions an individual can make in their lifetime. It...
Updated 26 Sep 2021

Intransigent Taliban

PRIME MINISTER Imran Khan has delivered an effective speech at the UN General Assembly session detailing the salient...
26 Sep 2021

Deadly misinformation

THE distinction between ‘fake’ and ‘authentic’ news is now a concept impossible to escape. In an...
26 Sep 2021

Covid arrests

THE unilateral decision taken by Karachi’s East Zone police to arrest citizens without Covid vaccination cards ...