President for a committee to develop mental health helpline.

ISLAMABAD -- President Dr Arif Alvi said that a committee may be constituted by the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) on mental health, with members from public and private stakeholders to brainstorm ideas and come up with a comprehensive plan to provide counselling services to people facing issues or disorders.

He expressed these views while chairing a meeting on mental health, at Aiwan-i-Sadr on Monday. The meeting was attended by members of the National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR), World Health Organisation (WHO), Pakistan Psychiatric Society (PPS), Taskeen Health Initiative, officials of the Ministry of NHS and other organisations working on the issue of mental health and well-being.

Addressing members of the meeting, the president said that Pakistan had limited resources to cope up with the burden of mental health as an estimated 80pc of people with mental health needs remain untreated.

He said that there was a need to increase the pool of psychiatrists, psychologists and counsellors on a priority basis to ensure the reach of mental health services to the population, especially to the under privileged persons in remote areas of the country. Resolving such issues would increase the nation's productivity.

According to a statement, the president underlined the need to develop and create mental health providers, especially at the primary level for early diagnoses and treatment to detect the illness at the initial stages. Most of the time...

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