Our responsibility to mental health | Pakistan Today

Our responsibility to mental health

According to a report, there are 50 million people suffering from mental disorders and there are only 400 trained psychiatrists in Pakistan. Due to lack of mental health awareness, mental issues are swept under the rug and are not properly treated. Students are discouraged from specialising in psychiatry because it is considered less “prestigious” as compared to other medical fields. People often attribute mental illness to black magic or possession by demons. Some are reluctant to take medicines over fear of dependency. A mentally ill person is considered dangerous and not enough productive for the society. These misleading stereotypes impact adversely on people’s struggle to cope with their condition. Mental health is important for a country’s progress. On an individual level, stigma and shame should be uprooted. Our government needs to recognise its responsibility to monitor human rights and increase awareness about mental health.