Every year on October 10, World Mental Health Day is observed globally to promote awareness of mental health and encourage initiatives to assist individuals grappling with mental health challenges.
George Brock Chisholm, WHO’s first Director-General, proposed the establishment of the World Federation of Mental Health (WFMH) and in 1992 the first WMH Day took place.
It was established to increase recognition of the prevalence of mental health concerns, combat stigma, and advocate for improved circumstances and care for individuals dealing with mental health issues.
Furthermore, mental health issues are becoming more prevalent among teenagers and young adults.
“Every individual, regardless of their identity or location, possesses the entitlement to the best possible level of mental health. This encompasses the entitlement to protection from mental health threats, access to high-quality mental healthcare that is available, reachable, and culturally acceptable, as well as the right to personal freedom and autonomy.” Stated the WHO.
Furthermore, the World Health Organization (WHO) emphasized its ongoing collaboration with partners to emphasize the significance of mental health, advocate for it, and ensure it is safeguarded.
This year’s World Mental Health Day theme provides a chance for individuals and communities to come together under the banner of “Mental health is a universal human right.”
The objective is to enhance understanding, boost awareness, and encourage initiatives that uphold and safeguard the mental well-being of all as an inherent human entitlement.
On this occasion, Dr Palitha, the WHO Representative in Pakistan highlighted that every year Mental Health is celebrated under the theme of “Mental Health is a universal human right.”
Moreover, the theme encompasses call for collective efforts to provide essential mental health support for every individual regardless of the background. In Pakistan over 25 million people need mental health services, he added.
However, there is shortage of trained human resources to address this issue comprehensively. The solution lies in strengthening health care systems by building capacity through integrating primary mental health services for every individual.
Recent Initiatives by the Government of Pakistan
Furthermore, the Federal Ministry of Health in April 2023 launched the “Hamraz Mental Health App and Integrated Helpline 1166,” which is a 24-hour mental health application and website designed to provide free assistance to anyone seeking to enhance their mental well-being.
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This initiative, known as Hamraz, allows users to schedule appointments with leading psychiatrists and psychologists.
People can discuss their mental health concerns, stress, and anxiety with these experts, who will offer valuable guidance for mental health improvement.
This guidance addresses various psychiatric and psychological challenges faced by individuals.
Moreover, the platform also provides online support and WhatsApp consultations while ensuring the confidentiality of users’ information. Individuals experiencing psychological issues or struggling with poor mental health can reach out to experts by dialing the integrated helpline number 1166.