Mental health concerns: Government hospitals use narrow approach to treat psychological illness

Published: October 11, 2016
Awareness session organised in Haripur to observe World Mental Health Day. PHOTO: EXPRESS

Awareness session organised in Haripur to observe World Mental Health Day. PHOTO: EXPRESS

HARIPUR: An awareness session was organised by Human Development Organization (HDO) on Monday to mark the World Mental Health Day. The participants consisted of victims of torture, violence, human rights activists and healthcare providers.

Speaking on the occasion, clinical psychologist Dr Sahira Khan said that mental health has never been a priority of the government. As a result, citizens are unaware of psychological ailments. Dr Sahira claimed that the most common mental disorders among mentally ill patients range from depression, bipolar, dementia to schizophrenia.

Narrow approach

She apprised the participants that the most common method used by the government hospitals to treat psychological illness has been medication. However, other methods like therapies are practically ignored by doctors. She claimed that 34% of the Pakistan population was suffering from clinical depression which often results in multiple complications leading to irritability, marital disputes, suicidal thoughts and tendency for drug abuse.

Rebuilding society

Dr Sahira urged the audience to pay attention to victims of violence and torture so that they are not left alone to suffer psychological problems.

A representative of HDO, Nehmat Gul, briefed the participants about the working of HDO adding that it was offering free of cost medical, psychological and social rehabilitation services to the victims of torture and violence for the last ten years in Hazara and some districts of K-P.

He pointed out that apart from offering rehabilitation assistance to victims, the organization provided  education and skill development to prisoners in different jails.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 11th, 2016.

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