Pakistan has 50m mental health patients and only 400 psychiatrists

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As per reports, it has been revealed that 50 million people in Pakistan are suffering from common mental disorders. The illness affects 15 to 35 million adults. The number makes up about 10% to 20% of the total population of the country.

“Approximately 20 million children or 10pc of the population in our country need attention from mental health practitioners,” – said Dr. Ayesha Mian, chairperson of the department of psychiatry at Aga Khan University (AKU) at a discussion held on ‘mental health’ at Karachi Press Club.

Dr. Ayesha stated that there was this misconception or stigma that people suffering from mental illness are violent, are distinct in looks and had no chances of improving, and couldn’t function as a productive member of the society.

“Such misleading stereotypes impact adversely on these people’s struggle to cope with their condition.” – She said.

She further stated that as per studies, people suffering from mental illnesses are usually the victim. She is of the view that media should step forward and end this misconception regarding mentally ill people.

“Studies show that people with mental illness are much more likely to be a victim than a perpetrator. Media should come forward and be strong partners against this social bias’’ – Dr. Ayesha said.

She said that family, friends and society has to come together to help people with illnesses. The patients need their support, acceptable and positive attitude.

She said that there are only 400 trained psychiatrists in the country, which is quite a big shock.

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