80 Percent Of Pakistanis Lack Access To Mental Health Facilities At an event held yesterday to mark Mental Health Day, National Technical Adviser of the Mental Health Coordination Unit, Dr. Asma Humayun said that around 80 percent of Pakistanis lack access to mental health treatment.
The Mental Health Helpline for Islamabad was also launched on the occasion.
She said that people with mental health issues can now use a recently launched helpline (1282) and receive counseling from healthcare providers. Approximately 1,000 teachers and volunteers are also being trained as ‘Hamdard Force’ to work with people with mental health issues in the community. A mobile application (MyCare+) has also been specifically designed to support frontline responders.
Speaking to Dawn news, Dr. Asma Humayun, said resources for mental health in Pakistan were scarce and largely unregulated.
“Existing services are concentrated in tertiary hospitals, and the predominant model of practice is biomedical which means these services are responsive to moderate to severe mental disorders only.”
The theme for the World Mental Health Day was ‘Mental health in an unequal world.’
The four-digit helpline  is backed by an integrated web portal and the service is easily accessible. Users can book an appointment to consult a mental health professional or call or send a message to 1282 to request an appointment.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Covid-19 pandemic has had a major impact on people’s mental health. According to Dr. Humayun, world mental health day provided an opportunity to discuss mental health issues and ways to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide.
“During the World Health Assembly in May 2021, governments from around the world recognized the need to scale up quality mental health services at all levels. And some countries have found new ways of providing mental health care to their populations,” the WHO stated.