World Mental Day; speakers urge for proper treatment

SUKKUR: A walk to mark the World Mental Health Day was organized by the Ghulam Mohammad Mahar Medical College Sukkur here on Tuesday.

The day was observed to raise awareness about mental health issues, said the organizers.

They said that disorders such as depression, schizophrenia, epilepsy and substance abuse etc., caused immense suffering to the affected.

This also intensifies the vulnerability leading patients to a life of self-destruction, they said.

The participants called for educating public as how to support people affiliated with such issues. They stressed upon the government for creating an environment wherein people should not only feel confident to discuss mental health conditions but can also receive support.

The walk was attended by a large number of doctors, nurses, Para-medical staff and people from different sections of the society. It was followed by a seminar at the press club.

Principal Professor Dr Aftab Soomro, Medical Superintendent Aziz Memon of the GMC hospital Sukkur said that the people were not aware as to how important it was to consult a doctor for addressing their psychological problems.

They said that people also do not realize the importance of being mentally and psychologically fit.

Dr Soomro said that the most vulnerable were children and adolescents with mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders therefore mental health and well-being of people should be protected. Walk and seminar provide an opportunity to communicate with the general public about mental health issues, he said.

Dr Aziz Memon revealed that around 30 per cent of our population was suffering from mental disorders whereas majority doesn’t exhibit signs rather pass trauma silently.

He stressed upon the government to consider providing treatment and counseling to public by appointing counselors in public departments, schools, colleges and universities.

Mental disorder can inflict anyone and at any stage of life, he said emphasizing on integration of mental health into public health system.

Dr Zakia Memon blamed various factors for contributing to high rate of

mental health problems in Pakistan as according to him one in four patients visiting a health service suffers from at least one mental, neurological or behavioral disorder but in most cases these remain undiagnosed.

Dr Shabana Solangi said that untreated disorders bring about unhealthy behavior and poor prognosis.

The health experts called for improved psychiatry syllabus at undergraduate and postgraduate levels and said that the lives of depressed and psychiatric patients could be saved by providing them timely care.