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Barriers to seeking psychiatric assistance discussed on world mental health day

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Stigma, myths and lack of awareness, low socio-economic status, cultural stereotypes, and other lack of resources in the mental health system were discussed in a seminar in connection with the World Mental Health day organized by Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center Psychiatry Department.

‘There is growing awareness and concern about mental wellness in our society. To improve mental health and reduce the stigma associated with it, we should really listen and tackle mental health problems before they amplify’, said Vice Chancellor JSMU Professor Amjad Siraj Memon.

Vice Chancellor JSMU Professor Amjad Siraj Memon thanked Senator Dr Karim Ahmed Khwaja, Chairman of Sindh Mental Health Authority, Executive Director JPMC Shahid Rasul, and Chairman Faculty of Psychiatry JSMU Professor Iqbal Afridi Khan for mobilizing the efforts in support of mental health problems.

‘It is estimated that more than 35% of the population in Pakistan is in need of psychiatric assistance’, said Associate Professor Psychiatry JSMU and Incharge Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences JPMC Dr Chooni Lal Kataria. He further listed the need to provide incentives to practitioners, regulate telepsychiatry services for far flung areas.

Research Associate Aga Khan University Hospital Saad Qudusi presented the South Asia Self Harm Initiative (SASHI) for incoming patients suffering from suicidal thoughts and self-harm.

Earlier, in the opening remarks, Executive Director JPMC Shahid Rasul thanked Sindh and Federal Government for the newly built 90 bedded Neuro-Psychiatry Complex established at JPMC and thanked Professor Amjad Siraj Memon for supporting JPMC with the provision of faculty and staff.

This year’s theme for World Mental Health Day is ‘Make mental health & well-being for all a global priority.

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