On Friday, the government announced the launch of the Humraaz mental health app and the 1166 helpline.
“Today Pakistan makes a crucial step to address and acknowledge mental health,” tweeted the head of the Prime Minister’s Strategy Reforms, Sulman Sufi.
The official said that the Humraaz app was a first step towards ending the stigma surrounding mental health, adding that mental problems are extremely common across the globe, while being largely untreated. Even in countries with high per capita wealth, the vast majority of people exhibiting signs of mental illness went undiagnosed and untreated. Several persons experienced distress as a result of mild, moderate, or severe mental health issues.
Anxiety, panic attacks, bipolar disorder, sadness, and other forms of mental illness were all mentioned in a government declaration as examples of poor mental health. Attitudes play an even larger effect in non-treatment seeking behaviour than structural treatment barriers including availability, price, and time restrictions.
Individuals with these symptoms and problems try to find solutions to manage the difficulties that come with living with these illnesses. They sought comfort from people who could relate to their situation. “Unfortunately, not all of them know how to find help, and some of them aren’t even sure they have a problem. Also, people are hesitant to reach out for counsel in regards to mental health difficulties because of the stigma associated with doing so.
Mr. Sufi claims that the Ministry of Health Services, Regulations, and Coordination; the World Health Organization; the National Information Technology Board; and the Federal Directorate of Immunisation all worked together to create Humraaz with the integrated helpline.
Citizens suffering from mental health problems including depression or suicidal ideation were targeted by the project, which sought to connect them with appropriate practitioners and support groups for treatment.
“Humraaz” is avaliable on Google Play and Apple App Stores
Both the app, Humraaz and the toll-free number 1166 may be downloaded from the Google Play and Apple App Stores right now.
For residents struggling with mental health concerns like depression or thoughts of self-harm, this app will be a one-stop shop for help.
The app’s main functions included guided and principle-based counselling and psychotherapy sessions, monitoring of daily activities, connection with professionals around the clock, access to an international-standard knowledge base, a ChatBot (with self-assessment capabilities), support via WhatsApp, appointment and booking scheduling, and so on.
More than 140 psychologists and psychiatrists have signed up for the effort, and among them are approximately 60 resident doctors and counsellors specialising in psychiatry, so people may get aid and share their own experiences through the program’s support groups.
More than 30 government psychologists and psychiatrists were on board to offer free consultation services to citizens with mental health concerns and suicidal thoughts, and consultations may be scheduled according to the psychologist’s or psychiatrist’s availability or preferred time periods.
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