ISLAMABAD: While Pakistan is home to about 200 million people, it has one of the poorest mental health indicators, with less than 500 psychiatrists for such a huge population size.

This creates a massive treatment gap, leaving more than 90pc of the people with common mental disorders untreated, said Special Secretary Health Mirza Nasiruddin Mashood Ahmed while speaking to participants of an event organised by the Department of Psychiatry of Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) in connection with World Mental Health Day.

The theme of the day, set by the World Federation for Mental Health was ‘Make Mental Health and Wellbeing for All a Global Priority’.

Mr Mashood said the day was observed on Oct 10 every year, with the overall objective of raising awareness about mental health issues around the world and mobilising efforts in support of mental health.

He said the World Health Organisation (WHO) shared that one in eight people worldwide live with a mental health issue.

“We learnt the lesson from the Covid-19 pandemic as no one worldwide was ready for the allied mental health crunch and its long-term impact on human brain. The current flood situation is a recent example, which means that any traumatic event can have a devastating effect on the emotional health of people involved. Such traumatic events may include the grief from losing a loved one, livelihood stresses like economising or other academic or career setbacks, health stresses from illnesses, or family/relationship stresses like a divorce, amongst others,” he said.

“There is growing awareness and concern about mental wellness in our society today. Thus, we need state-of-the-art strategies for mental health,” Mr Mashood said. Lastly, he announced the establishment of an Autism Treatment Centre and mental health helpline at Pims, which is an initiative by the Ministry of Health.

Earlier, in the opening remarks, Professor Rizwan Taj, chief executive officer Pims, said the goal was to rekindle efforts to increase awareness, improve mental health and reduce the stigma associated with it.

Published in Dawn, October 11th, 2022

Opinion

Editorial

IMF’s projections
Updated 18 Apr, 2024

IMF’s projections

The problems are well-known and the country is aware of what is needed to stabilise the economy; the challenge is follow-through and implementation.
Hepatitis crisis
18 Apr, 2024

Hepatitis crisis

THE sheer scale of the crisis is staggering. A new WHO report flags Pakistan as the country with the highest number...
Never-ending suffering
18 Apr, 2024

Never-ending suffering

OVER the weekend, the world witnessed an intense spectacle when Iran launched its drone-and-missile barrage against...
Saudi FM’s visit
Updated 17 Apr, 2024

Saudi FM’s visit

The government of Shehbaz Sharif will have to manage a delicate balancing act with Pakistan’s traditional Saudi allies and its Iranian neighbours.
Dharna inquiry
17 Apr, 2024

Dharna inquiry

THE Supreme Court-sanctioned inquiry into the infamous Faizabad dharna of 2017 has turned out to be a damp squib. A...
Future energy
17 Apr, 2024

Future energy

PRIME MINISTER Shehbaz Sharif’s recent directive to the energy sector to curtail Pakistan’s staggering $27bn oil...