WE are in the third decade of the 21st century and the issue of mental health still remains a taboo topic in our society. Many people do not take mental health issues seriously and instead take their patients to faith-healers.

According to a report, there are only 400 trained psychiatrists in Pakistan for a population of more than 200 million people. These numbers are alarming. One study suggests that more than 15 million people are afflicted with mental health issues every year globally, and a large chunk of the cases comes from the Third World where substandard lifestyle plays a major role in affecting people’s mental health.

The Covid-19 pandemic, too, has had a devastating effect on the minds of people, including those working in the healthcare sector. Keeping the above in mind, there is a need to raise awareness about mental health issues at the governmental level.

Pakistan would do really well if it could convince its citizens that mental health is as important as one’s physical health and that there should be no qualms about seeking professional treatment if need be.

Naeem Ahmed
Karachi

Published in Dawn, December 1st, 2020

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