Mental Health Awareness


Mahzila Khurshid

Balochistan is the country’s poorest province with standards of living and social indicators lagging substantially behind the rest of the country. There is a strong nexus between high illiteracy with high poverty in the province.
A lethal combination of militancy and poverty continues to keep the province far behind the other provinces in performance improvement in the educational arena; killing all efforts and eviscerating any prospect to bring improvement in the poor state of education. For obtaining health capital in Balochistan, there is a dire need to resolve basic and pressing issues related to the health sector.
The healthcare situation in Balochistan is extremely poor, whether it is the doctor-to-patient ratio of 1:1000 or the nurse-to-patient ratio of 1:50. Additionally, growing insecurity, pervasive poverty, political uncertainty, genetic factors and a lack of economic opportunity all pose a significant risk to mental health in Pakistan. Pakistan is home to about 200 million people but has one of the poorest mental health indicators and less than 500 psychiatrists for this population size.
This paucity of mental health professionals in Pakistan creates a massive treatment gap, leaving more than 90 percent of people with common mental disorders untreated. Mental health tends to be very nebulous in Pakistan which has a poor track record when it comes to mental health issues. With an estimated 50 million individuals suffering from mental illness, the pandemic has driven up demand for mental health care.
Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress relate to others, and make healthy choices. Depression: Impacting an estimated 300 million people, depression is the most common mental disorder and generally affects women more than men.
However, it doesn’t matter how you move. How fit you are. When it comes to your mental health and well-being, every move counts. Examples of negative childhood experiences are abuse or neglect. Trauma and stress in adulthood, traumatic life events or ongoing stress can increase the risk of mental illness. Issues such as social solutions, domestic violence, relationship breakdown, and financial or work problems can impact mental health.
Serious mental illness (SMI) commonly refers to a diagnosis of psychotic disorders, bipolar disorder, and either major depression with psychotic symptoms or treatment-resistant depression; SMI can also include anxiety disorders, eating disorders, and personality disorders. With the growing number of suicide cases in Balochistan, Mental health is still considered a stigma. Balochistan: Owing to numerous interlinked reasons such as unemployment, financial crisis, depression, family problems, and many others. Mental health awareness is an ongoing effort to reduce the stigma around mental illness and mental health conditions by sharing our personal experiences.
Often, because of misconceptions about mental health and mental fitness, people suffer in silence and their condition goes untreated. Balochistan Health Department is responsible for the delivery of key health services to the people through hospitals. Basic Health Units (BHU) and Rural Health Center (RHC). The Department operates for more than 550 BHU,90 RHC and 89 Materials Child Health Care centers (MCH) to provide health services throughout to the province.
The provincial capital Quetta has five hospitals namely; Bolan Medical College (BMC), Civil Hospital, Fatima Jinnah Chest and General Hospital, Helper’s Eyes Hospital and Sheikh Khalifah Bin Zayad Hospital. The provincial health department has developed its Health Sector strategy (2013-2024 ) to address challenges of service delivery, quality of cars, lack of skilled health workforce, governance and regulation, and to ensure adequate health coverage for the poor.
Therefore, the rising voice in Balochistan for mental health is very important and the upcoming government may be taking action regarding this.
The writer is a freelance columnist.