RAHIM YAR KHAN-World Mental Health Day with theme “‘Young People and Mental Health in a Changing World” was observed to raise awareness among the general public about the most critical issue of the day.

World Health Organisation (WHO) observes the day each year to highlight importance of the early diagnosis and ensure easy access to treatment. Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences, Sheikh Zayed Medical College/Hospital in collaboration with District Press Club, Rahim Yar Khan organised a seminar to celebrate World Mental Health Day. Prof Dr Muhammad Abdul Rehman Principal, Sheikh Zayed Medical College/Hospital and Qaiser Ghafoor Ch President, District Club were chief guest and guest of Honour on occasion respectively.

A large number of doctors, psychologists, social workers, teachers, students and members of civil society attended the seminar to get an insight into recent advances and issues, especially relating to the youth. Dr Urooj Burhan, Assistant Professor Psychiatry Department, facilitated the proceedings.

In her speech Dr Urooj Burhan paid gratitude to all the guests who were able to give their precious time in this noble cause of discussing the mental health issues of young people.

She beautifully narrated the efforts of Psychiatry Department in upgrading its services over the last couple of years. She wished to see the Institute of Mental Health for the people of Rahim Yar Khan and its adjoining areas in near future. She highlighted the launching of ongoing project with the support of Army Public School Principal Major Rab Nawaz Shad.

Senior Counsellor Army Public School elegantly described the establishment of ‘Facilitation Centre’ as a joint venture between Army Public School and Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences. She described the ways to assess the students, teachers and regular feedback system. She also informed about the mechanism and strategies to prevent bullying, harassment and identification of any psychological issues among children through involving parents with respect and dignity.

Associate Prof Dr Ali Burhan Mustafa, Head of Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences delivered detailed presentation on “Young Age and Mental Health in a Changing World.” He referred to the WHO-AIMS report on Mental Health System in Pakistan and according to which; 0.002 Psychiatrists are available in Pakistan per 100,000 population, almost 20% Psychiatrists tend to leave the country each year, 0.005 Clinical Psychologists are available per 100,000 population, 0.008 social workers trained in Mental Health are available per 100,000 population, 0.007 trained Psychiatric Nurses are available per 100,000 population and government is spending only 0.40% budget out of total health budget reflecting priority of the state towards Mental Health. Majority of psychiatric disorders initiated around 15 years of age and if not diagnosed and treated properly can lead towards mental health related issues throughout the life.

Dr Mustafa highlighted the impact and types of bullying. He briefed that bullying can lead towards various psychiatric disorders which can overshadow personality of one’s life. He mentioned that Bullying often gives birth to an abuser who later can become indulge in drugs, drug trafficking, terrorism and child sexual abuse like tragic incident of Zainab.

District Club President Qaiser Ghafoor Ch expressed gratitude to all the guests for organising such a wonderful academic activity. The SZMCH principal applauded the services of Dr Ali Burhan Mustafa in the field of Mental Health. He promised to extend full support and cooperation in strengthening the cause of Mental Health.