Rrawalpindi    -  Speakers at a seminar held in connection with the World Mental Health Day on Thursday in Adiala Jail stressed the need for identifying barriers to mental health treatment among the inmates and medication continuity.

They said depression was the most prevalent mental health condition reported by inmates, followed by mania, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Mental health conditions were reported more frequently among prisoners in the prisons of province.

They said the spread of coronavirus has not only destroyed economy of the world but also made the people mentally sick.

They said the government is taking concrete steps to cure mental illness and reduce the factors that increased stress.

The seminar was organised in jail by Superintendent Chauhdry Asghar with the participation of Inspector General of Police (IGP) Prisons Mirza Shahid Salim Baig as chief guest, DIG Prisons Malik Shaukat Feroz, Head Institute of Psychiatry (IOP) Benazir Bhutto Hospital (BBH) Dr Asad Tamizuddin Nizami, Consultant Psychologist Dr Mehboob, MS BBH Dr Muhammad Raffique, Senior and Junior Psychologists of 6 jails of region and representatives of NGOs.

HOD IOP BBH Dr Asad Tamizuddin Nizami, while addressing, said that the hospital is fully cooperating with the jail administration in order to provide adequate mental health facilities to the inmates. He said he along with doctors visited jail regularly. He said he wanted to provide online training to jail staff besides establishing a special unit to cure the inmate in the jail.

IGP Prisons Punjab Mirza Shahid Salim Baig said the government has been taking special initiatives to cure the mentally sick inmates by recruiting two junior and senior psychologists in each jail in the province. He said a chief psychologist would also monitor the performance of the psychologists. The IG also assured Dr Asad Tamizuddin for taking up matter of online training course and establishment of special unit for inmates in jail with the home department and government.

“Each year the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) and World Health Organisation (WHO) celebrate the World Mental Health Day on 10th of October and we had also organised a function in this regard,” said DIG Prisons Malik Shaukat Feroz while addressing the on the occasion.

He said the prison department is taking all the possible steps to facilitate the inmates.

Chaudhry Asghar, the Superintendent Adiala Jail, who organised the event, in his remarks laid emphasis on the need for collective efforts by people from all walks of life towards creating awareness about mental illnesses and promotion of better understanding of mental health of inmates in the jail.