The Rising Concern for Mental Health in Pakistan


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Mental health is a rising concern in the world today. With more and more cases being coming to light, the world today faces an unprecedented surge in mental health cases and a lot of it has to do with negligence towards the matter of mental health.

While in developed countries, mental health is a topic heeded much attention to and treated accordingly, things are different for people living in third world countries. We are not educated about mental health in or schools, we do not have a system that sheds a light on how to identify mental disorders or encourage much to seek a therapist or a psychiatrist if we feel that something is off. Thoughts that could be an indicator for a bigger problem are brushed aside with a single sentence, “It is alright, take some rest. You will feel better”, and often the consequences are drastic. Call it the plight of Pakistan, that an issue much faced by the society is also the one considered taboo to discuss.

I find this hilariously ironic that all of us kind of know what the issue is but at the same time nobody wants to talk about it or do anything about it. Of course, because if you do, what would people say? Owing to illiteracy and social stigma, 90% of cases never approach the hospitals. They are left untreated, and their mental health worsens over time, ultimately the consequences of which their dear ones have to suffer.

We ought to ask ourselves, for how long will this carry on? for how long will we keep compromising on our well-being and of those dear to us? All of us know people within our families, relatives, or friends that need help but neither we encourage, nor they go because we as a society have made it so hard to even accept the idea of mental health, that people even whom we know are having a rough time find it difficult to talk about their mental health let alone visit seek help.

We ought to create a comfortable environment so those amongst us can ask for help without feeling alienated. And the best way to do so is by creating a streamlined system that educates the population about mental health and signs of disorders. We ought to educate the youth from a young age about emotional intelligence, acceptance, and understanding of mental disorders. Only then can those among us who require help approach it fearlessly and lead a happy life they deserve. 

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Habib Rajput

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