BY: Abdul Rahim Khan Ghouri
“Due to socio-economic and environmental damage, as well as climate change in Pakistan, such as the recent flood disaster, affected communities are facing a major crisis,” said Dr. Azra Pechuho.
“Our main objective is to conduct a pilot test of the IAPT, which will be started initially in two districts of Sindh: Sukkur and Qamber Shahdadkot,” said Prof. Nasim Chaudhry.
“The data obtained from the pilot test of this research project will help guide Sindh’s mental health policy review and implementation plan,” said the Secretary of Health Sindh.
Karachi: According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mental illness in Pakistan affects almost 4% of the population, resulting in a higher rate of deterioration in health and quality of life compared to physical illnesses, with 24 million people in need of mental and psychological support.
These concerns were expressed by the Provincial Health Minister, Dr. Azra Pechuho, during the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Department of Health, Government of Sindh the Pakistan Institute of Learning and Living (PILL), represented by Secretary Health Sindh, Syed Zulfikar Ali Shah, and Professor Nasim Chaudhry, CEO of PILL, respectively.
They stated that Pakistan is facing a major crisis with the communities affected by the recent floods, which have caused large-scale social, economic, and environmental damage, as well as seasonal changes.
According to estimates, 33 million people, including 16 million children, have been affected, with their mental and psychological health being severely affected alongside other issues.
In light of the devastating impact of these figures, mental health policy implementation is one of our top national priorities. Professor Nasim Chaudhry, CEO of PILL, said, “Our basic objective is the success of the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) program, which will initially be launched in the districts of Sukkur and Khairpur in Sindh as a pilot test, where communities are in dire need of such services.”