A mental health program initiated to advocate mental and social health and increase its literacy amongst all tiers of society.
Why we do what we do
Karachi lacks mental health facilities as well as mental health professionals. In this giant of a city with an estimated population of 18 million, Karachi’s population is much underserved in terms of trained professionals in the sphere of mental health.
According to the Karachi Mental Health Report (KMHR): A collaborative project of Dept. of Psychiatry, Aga Khan University and The Aman Foundation, 2012, there are just 58 psychiatrists, 56 psychologists and 13 counsellors in active practice in Karachi. Only 28 (48 per cent) psychiatrists have a major diploma. The rest either have a minor diploma (MCPS or Diploma in Psychiatry) or only have the basic medical qualification (MBBS) with some psychiatric experience.
A range of mental health problems that prevail in the city go largely undetected due to a lack of awareness and high treatment cost. An acute dearth of mental health facilities, trained professionals, research and enough funds to understand and assess the mental health situation locally add to the magnitude of the problems.
How we do it
At Mashal we are looking at creating solutions dealing with these barriers to mental health and wellbeing by working with a number of stakeholders to develop a mental health and wellness strategy. We focus on efforts to develop a number of actions in the short, medium and long terms to raise awareness and demystify mental illness.
Through a tiered approach Mashal addresses mental health problems through public awareness and health promotion by providing quality information on mental health, common mental disorders and evidence based treatments.
Mashal supports and strengthens existing community services and link up with public and private mental health facilities to work towards providing seamless and effective service to people suffering from a range of common and more serious mental disorders.
What we do
- Create solutions to deal with mental health and wellbeing.
- Work with a number of stakeholders to develop a mental health and wellness strategy.
- Through a tiered approach, address the mental health problems through public awareness and health promotion forums.
- Strengthen existing community services and link up with the public and private mental health facilities. Thus facilitating seamless and effective service to people suffering from common and serious mental disorders.
- Embed mental health in education and the social sector for early recognition and treatment to prevent the onset of chronic mental ill health and disability.
- Promote recovery orientated community services.
- Encourage social inclusion by providing education and training for mental health promotion in organizations.
- Work in partnership with established NGOs.
- Provide mental health counselling over the phone through the Telehealth helpline.
- Be the catalyst for change in providing innovation and technology to improve mental health service delivery.
- Play a role in advocating the application of appropriate legislation and policy to the government that would create an enabling and dignified environment for people with mental health difficulties.