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Mental illnesses and lack of awareness

The word ‘Mental Health’ refers to the healthy mind free from any sort of mental illness or negative thought patterns. These negative thought patterns govern the individual’s actions and behaviors which are actually considered to be abnormal and socially unacceptable.

As, we focus on the healthy body we need to emphasize on healthy mind as well because a healthy person must have both healthy mind and body. But unfortunately in Pakistan this area is neglected the most.

There are very few mental health practitioners available. According to WHO report of Mental Health System in Pakistan, for every 200 psychological patients, only one psychologist is available.

According to the statistics of the same report, 0.40% expenditures are spent on the mental health and only 11% out of 89% expenditures are spent on the mental health hospitals.

As we consider the mental illnesses, Depression is the most widespread illness present almost in every second individual regardless of age.

The most important thing is the lack of awareness. People don’t know about their psychological problems and if some of them know, they usually don’t accept it.

People in urban areas are might aware of psychological problems and they often concern psychologists but population of rural areas are completely unaware.

They believe  psychological illnesses are actually the invasion of demons. They should be given awareness so that sick individuals could get  proper timely treatment.

Psychological illnesses are considered to be taboo. So most of the people neither talk about them nor seek  treatment.

Today when we talk about drugs addiction, rapes and physical diseases, we tend to miss out the psychological aspects of individual’s personality.

This needs to be consider at initial level because these mental illnesses later on impair the individual’s social, occupational and daily livivg functioning.

Although in the recent years numbers of workshops and compaigns have been run by different institutions to mobilize people about mental health but still there is a lot to do. Because only mentally and physically healthy individual can serve Pakistan by utilizing his or her full potential.

Faheela Riaz

Karachi

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