PESHAWAR: The psychiatrists have expressed concerns over growing incidence of mental health problems among youth and called for measures to safeguard young generation from such issues, which often snowball into major ailments.

They were addressing a seminar organised by Iftikhar Psychiatric Hospital in connection with World Mental Health Day here on Sunday.

The seminar was addressed by local consultants, who said that symptoms of depression varied from person to person that was caused by chemical imbalance of brain. “These are preventable through timely intervention,” they added.

Say imbalance in society, lack of parents’ attention main causes of depression

The theme of the event was “Young people and mental health in changing world”. The experts discussed the issues confronted by youth and ways to safeguard them from avoidable complication and allowing them to grow healthy.

Prof Mohammad Shafique, who was chief guest on the occasion, said that different problems encountered by young people were due to the prevalent conditions and could be avoided through timely intervention.

He said that cases of suicide among youth increased due to imbalances in the society and lack of attention by parents. “The parents are required to take extreme care of their children so that they could stay fit mentally,” he added.

Prof Shafique, one of the pioneers of psychiatry in the province, said that youth should be provide with better opportunities to play sports and get education to be able to get good job in future. “We need to scale up public awareness regarding psychiatric disorders among the parents. We should inform them about the causative agents of such illnesses, which are completely avoidable,” he said.

Mian Iftikhar Hussain spoke about different mental health issues and said that attention to the young people could save them from such disorders.

“Today, we have been facing a situation where our youth are committing suicides due to stress and mental traumas. The students are unable to cope with the stress due to burden of studies. In such situation, parents are responsible to consult right doctors and the right time and avoid repentance for any unfortunate incidence in future,” he said.

Dr Bashir Ahmed spoke about drug addiction among youth and methods to save them from seeking escape route in drugs. “We need to inform the people about parenting skills, so that they could bring up their children in an appropriate way,” he added.

Dr Mohammad Tariq shed light on various types of mental disorders and asked for measures to cope with the issues faced by the youth. “Conversion disorders (hysterical fits), drug addiction, changes in society and urbanisation bring mental and psychiatric issues to youth, but these could be tackled through advocacy,” he said.

About 135 doctors, psychologists, staff nurses and medical students attended the seminar.

Former home secretary Syed Akhtar Ali Shah, Syed Zainab Begum, Rakhshanda Naz, Dr Mir Alam, Dr Imran and others also spoke on the occasion.

Published in Dawn, October 22nd, 2018