Mounting Prevalence of overlooked Mental Health Issues in Pakistan
19. December 2018 at 09:00
In this article I want to make the topic of ignorance in Pakistan as the topic of complete importance and consideration. Moreover, it's a small step towards enlightening those narrow minds and alarming them with the best of what deadly disease mental conditions hold in them and how devastating it can be for an individual. Hence, to overcome these mental issues some solutions are also discussed which requires attention in Pakistan.A silent killer,itself surrounded with silence in Pakistan!
Tranquility surrounds mental health conditions and psychological disorders in Pakistan.The enfeebling mental issues; depression and anxiety are high, followed by; bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, psychosomatic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder,psychosis, etc.
Why are these epidemic mental conditions termed as a silent killer?
Indeed, mental health issues are such a cruel punishment. There are no fevers, no rashes,no blood tests to send people scurrying in concern,just the slow erosion of self,as insidious as cancer. And like cancer, it is essentially a solitary experience;a room in hell with only your name on the door. It ruins the mental stability of an individual and eventually makes the individual dead.
Why all these disabling mental conditions been ignored over the years in Pakistan?
Why people do not keep mental health into consideration?
Though people visit hospitals for even a small bone issue and seek treatments for physical conditions then why people don't consider and understand the fact that brain is the most important organ in your body. Just because you can't see it like you could see a broken bone doesn't mean it's not as detrimental and devastating to a family or an individual.
What is the country lacking?
The answer to all these depressive questions is lack of mental health awareness, paucity of psychiatric beds and hospitals, lack of psychiatrists, health professionals and counsellors practicing in Pakistan, inadequacy of provision of psychological first-aid to mentally ill patients, suffering from mental ailments, meagreness of clinical psychology services, no implementation of Pakistan's Mental Health Policy,and related legislation.
Which departments are not playing their roles promptly?
The role of educational institutions in promotion and introduction of psychological fields and offering post graduate courses, embedded in inter-professional learning postulates to train and equip mental health professionals is not played properly. Moreover, inadequate training in psychiatry for general medical practitioners and lack of funds to promote mental health and services.Woefully, prevailing psychiatric hospitals have very less human and financial resources. All these facts, Pakistan lacks behind are depressing to know itself.
Why are the facilities in Pakistan underutilized?
On the other hand the facilities in Pakistan are underutilized due to the ignominy attached to psychiatric labelling,and a popular delusion that mental illnesses and psychological disorders are due to the possession of curse, evil eyes or some other stereotypical myths.
President Bill Clinton once said, “Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of, but stigma and bias shame us all.”
What is the evident reason behind stereotype thought processes, stigma and discrimination?
In regard, the evident reason of the mounting prevalence of all these stereotype thoughts is because no one enlightened or made them aware of what great importance mental health and fitness keeps to itself.
Did the society played it's essential role?
No,the society didn't provide them a broader spectrum to think nor they enlightened those narrow minds to even think mental health as more than just something to be ashamed of, rather lacking counsellors.
The overlooked fact;
It is a fact of grief, that each year millions of people in Pakistan get suffered by mental health conditions but rarely less than a half of them seek treatment due to stigma and discrimination.
What should be done as an individual,the community and stakeholders to eliminate this deadly disease from Pakistan?
Undoubtedly, to combat and eradicate all these mental issues and misleading thoughts of society rigorous collaborative efforts by individuals, the community and stakeholders are required to address this issue in prompt manner.
What role has to be played by the educational and health department?
In this regard, the educational department and the health department, both in collaboration need to play their essential roles as "best treatment requires best professionals".
For instance,the health ministry needs to keep pace with the mounting prevalence of psychiatric disorders by fulfilling the requirement of enough psychiatric beds and hospitals as per a large population.
How can medical students and health care professionals play their roles in this regard?
On the other hand, medical students and health care professionals also need to participate and enlighten stereotype people with as much knowledge they have on mental health care.
What is the best solution and related therapies?
People should be alarmed about the paramount importance to reduce the irrational use of psychotropic drugs, and to resolve psychological disorders through talk therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy,dialectical behavior therapy, exposure therapy, psychotherapy and interpersonal therapy.
Mental health care professionals need to start mental health care and awareness seminars, workshops,campaigns,programmes.
What can be done on a small scale, as a small step to help resolving the issue?
On a small scale medical students can also start with their own educational institutions, sharing the psychological field benefits and significance with their juniors through PowerPoint presentations.
What is the part of counsellors in rural areas?
Moreover, a widespread network of counsellors need to spread in rural areas to remove the delusion of false labelling to psychiatric disorders.
How educational institutions need to promote mental health professionals, the right way?
The educational institutions need to illuminate,offer and promote medical students to go for post-graduate courses embedded in inter-professional learning postulates to train mental health professionals and to increase the ratio of qualified psychiatrists to facilitate the extension of specialist services to the district headquarter hospitals.
Why can't mental health services be made part of community services?
Mental health services or psychology services need to be made part of community services and be extensively resourced in terms of qualified mental health professionals, finance and counsellors.
Is Pakistan lacking enough funds?
Pakistan needs to raise funds for being more resourced and equipped in the psychological department.
Pakistan's Mental health policy and legislation needs rigorous implementation.
What does the health ministry need to keep a check and balance of?
The health ministry needs to keep a check and balance of provision of psychological first-aid to the suffering patients.
What is your role as an individual?
As an individual you can promote yourself to go for psychiatric checkups if any related symptoms witnessed, regardless of the stigma and discrimination of the society.
Therefore, by following all these practices rigorously we can surely eliminate this enfeebling disorder from Pakistan.