More than half of the population of Pakistan is struggling with mental health issues. However, only less than quarter of those affected receive treatment. This is often because of the stigma attached to mental health. A person having mental health issues should receive the same concern and help as that of a person with a more obvious “physical” illness gets, not scorn and stigma, as often happens. Although, the general perception regarding mental health has improved over past decades in Pakistan but only in cities. In backward areas, people are afraid even to share their feelings about their mental health, the depression they are going through because of the stigma, they are afraid of being called out as “psycho”. In cities too, stigma is still powerful. This not only affects the number seeking treatment, but also the number of resources available for proper treatment. There should be campaigns regarding awareness of mental health issues both in cities and rural areas. Even in schools, students should provide with knowledge regarding mental health. So that there will be acceptance and respect for the individuals having mental health issues and so they could get treatment and become healthy.

MEMONA TAHIR,

Lahore.