Government launches helpline for counseling, support
More than 25% of people across Pakistan are suffering from mental health issues, while 80% of Pakistanis lack basic mental health facilities, according to Parliamentary Secretary for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Kanwal Shauzab.
To counter these numbers, the government, on Sunday, launched a helpline to provide counseling to people countering these challenges.
Citizens can call at 1282 where around 40 psychologists and psychiatrists will provide them help. “These healthcare workers have been trained to responsibly provide support and help to the callers,” Shauzab explained.
The government is training another 1,000 teachers and volunteers to identify people dealing with mental health issues across the country.
People can book an appointment to consult a mental health professional through the government’s web portal www.mhpss.pk, or call/message 1282 to request an appointment.
Shauzab added that people will be provided counseling services in their native languages and the programme will be extended to Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan, and Azad Jammu and Kashmir as well.
The helpline is a joint collaboration of the ministries of national health services and federal education and professional training, Islamabad administration, Directorate General of Special Education, Poverty Alleviation, and Social Safety Division.
According to a report by WHO, the pandemic has had a huge impact on the mental health of people across the world. These include frontline workers such as doctors, paramedic staff, teachers, and journalists.
“Governments from around the world recognised the need to scale up quality mental health services at all levels,” it added.
Here’s what you should do if someone you know exhibits warning signs of suicide: