LARKANA- Badaruddin Junejo, Chairman, Department of Psychiatry, Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Medical University (SMBBMU), Larkana said on Monday that approximately 15 million people in Pakistan are suffering from psychiatric problems which constitute between 10% to 15% of total population of the country.
This he said while talking to media on the eve of the World Mental Health Day. He said presently, more than 400 psychiatrists are working in Pakistan which means one psychiatrist is available for every 5 lakh people or 10,000 affected patients which is very low ratio.
He said that the number of mental health patients was constantly rising in the country causes of which included poverty, price hike, economic problems, unemployment, political instability, violence, terrorism, physical diseases, drugs, genetic and so forth.
He said that most of the psychiatric patients include those who deeply suffer from depression and anxiety but conversion disorders, acute stress reaction, post-traumatic stress disorder, psychotic disorder, dementia or mental retardation, substance abuse, personality disorders and other related diseases also put big economic burden.
Prof Junejo said that the World Mental Health Day is being celebrated around the globe (on 10th October) which was started at the very outset in 1992 by World Federation For Mental Health and today millions of people are observing this day to mark itss importance and make awareness. He said according to WHO every fourth person is suffering from mental disorder in the world today. He said this year’s theme is ‘Mental Health in Workplace’ adding that atmosphere at the workplace for the employees should be healthy which will ultimately benefit the owner and on the contrary unhealthy environment will create physical and mental issues.
He said according to WHO, despair/depression tops the list of all diseases and disabilities. He said the purpose of this year’s theme is to make proper awareness for according priority to providing better working environment so that an employee could be able to discharge his duties efficiently and fulfil social responsibilities. He said since last 30 years Department of Psychiatry is providing treatment in Chandka Medical College Hospital to affected patients. He said a program called SOUL was started eight years ago for schizophrenia patients who are not only provided treatment at their homes but they are also being helped for personal, social and professional rehabilitation.