Proper understanding needed to ensure stable mental health status: Senator Karim Khwaja

HYDERABAD: Senator Dr.Karim Khawaja has said that proper understanding coupled with modified attitude towards biological, emotional and psychiatric conditions of all age groups was needed to help ensure stable mental health status ultimately leading to physical and social well-being of local population.

Speaking as a chief guest at a seminar organized here on Tuesday in connection with the ‘World Mental Health Day’, Senator Karim Khawaja highlighted the need to identify and manage mental health problems and possible interventions for promoting mental health across the life span.

The Seminar arranged by Sir Cowas Jee Psychiatry institute Hyderabad with the collaboration of Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences Psychiatry unit Jamshoro to commemorate the World Mental Health Day. Theme of the seminar was “Mental Health in Work Place”.

Dr.Karim Khawaja said that large segment of the population suffered from diverse mental diseases and research indicated that 10 to 20 percent people suffered from depression, five to eight from anxiety and one percent from schizophrenia.

He said that there were many factors contributed to high rates of mental health problems in Pakistan. The inter-family marriages, high rates of birth injuries, economic decline, growing unemployment and rapidly changing cultural and social values are some of the causes, Dr.Karim Khawaja said.

He said that the number of patients suffering from mental diseases was on the rise as compared to past and there be a need of making serious efforts to prevent the diseases at the initial stages.

Senator Khawaja said that due to lack of awareness, people with psychological and emotional problems often visited faith healers, spiritual leaders, homeopathic doctors, magicians and hakims only to be abused by them.

He said that the depression has always been a major mental disorder in 3rd world countries because of the objects which give birth to depression, are mainly the reason for the country to be an under developed, those factors which impose depressions in human minds are economic factors, lack of social security, high level of joblessness, ill health, no proper law and order, Dr.Karim Khawaja added.

Senator Dr. Karim Khawaja stressed the need for extending the infrastructure to provide adequate psychiatric treatment to the ailing people and also for launching mental health services and awareness campaign in the country to overcome sociological and medical problems causing such conditions.

He underlined the need of the psychiatric education at undergraduate and postgraduate level to be improved, adding that foreign experts participating in educational research workshop recommended that one third of final year MBBS should be utilized for studying psychiatry.

Those who also spoke in the seminar included Additional Medical Superintendent Sir C.J Institute of Psychiatry Hyderabad Dr.Varsi Mal, Chairman Department of Psychiatry Liaquat university of Medical & Health Sciences (LUMHS), Psychiatric Dr. Moin Ansari, Psychiatrist Hameed Memon, Chief Medical Officer C.J Institute Psychiatrist Dr. Azhar Ibal Memon, Psychiatrist Dr.Shahnawaz Dal, Psychiatrist Dr. Zahida Batool and others.

They said that increasing depression among the people was causing change in behavior resulting in different kinds of mental illness.

They said the number of patients suffering from mental illness was on the rise and there was a need for making serious efforts to prevent the occurrences of such conditions at the initial stages.

They added that in order to prevent depression and psychiatric diseases in the country at least one psychiatric unit should be established in every district to provide treatment and also to create awareness among the people.

They said Pakistan had been rated number 15 in the world with people suffering from different types of mental, mood and depressive disorders.

They further stated that the most important cause for psychiatric conditions was abnormality of neurotransmitters which could be treated through medication.

They underlined the need of creating mass awareness about in depth causes of increasing mental illness that the adults could be aware of the real facts and adopt precautionary measures in order to save their lives as well as future generation.