Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Sindh Mental Health Authority, Charter for Compassion Pakistan launch helpline for mental health issues

Sindh Mental Health Authority, Charter for Compassion Pakistan launch helpline for mental health issues
April 14, 2022 Web Desk

KARACHI (Senior Correspondent Kashif Shamim Siddiqui) - The mental health and wellbeing are of the sustainable development goals set to achieve in 2030. Mental health problems in Pakistan, have seen an alarming increase in the incidence of mental illness due to a persistent wave of COVID-19, and frequent changes in social factors.

Therefore, Sindh Mental Health Authority (SMHA) and Charter for Compassion Pakistan are proud to announce the implementation of mental health activities in the province of Sindh. The two entities are to join hands with Thar Foundation for the initiation of mental health activities in the province and have signed a joint Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on April 14.

The ceremony highlighted the coalition between Sindh Mental Health Authority, Jinnah Post Graduate Medical College, Civil Hospital, Sir Cowasjee Institute of Psychiatry, Thar Foundation, and Charter for Compassion. The entities will work under a public-private partnership to provide mental health counseling services to the people in Sindh through SMHA’s UAN Helpline, i.e., 021-111-117-642.

The Sindh Mental Health Authority has already inaugurated its helpline services at the Sir Cowasjee Institute of Psychiatry and Jinnah Post Graduate Medical College. The helpline caters to different mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, phobias, panic attacks, substance abuse, self-harm/suicide, and PTSD. The services are now to be inaugurated at the Civil Hospital in Karachi, and CfC Pakistan is to be the implementing partner for the UAN and will oversee the capacity-building and management of the psychologists and the call service through its elaborate health information management system under its mental health program.

Amin Hashwani, Chairman, Charter for Compassion Pakistan, said: “Charter for Compassion is excited to partner with the government for the mental health of people in Sindh. We look forward to working with SMHA and its affiliated hospitals.”

CfC is a cooperative effort to restore not only compassionate thinking but, more importantly, compassionate action as the center of our lives. Charter for Compassion Society of Pakistan with its five women empowerment centers has helped over 2,000 females, over 45 schools in different districts of Sindh with more than 30,000 students along with some other initiatives in the health sector. The volunteer programs have catered for over 50,000 beneficiaries in collaboration with local and international donors.

A mental health program by CfC Pakistan that aims at providing high-quality consultancy and therapy to all segments of society. It also aims to create mental health awareness and mitigate the issues faced by the Pakistani society.

Dr Karim Ahmed Khawaja, Chairman, Sindh Mental Health Authority, said: “We look forward to working with CfC Pakistan in relation to mental health and wellbeing. We hope this step would lead to increased awareness regarding mental health in the people of Sindh and enable them to get the help they need.”

SMHA is a governmental authority which regulates the matters relating to the mental health issues of the people with respect to the care, treatment, and management. The Sindh Mental Health Authority was established in August 2017 for implementation of the Sindh Mental Health Authority Act 2013 as approved by the Sindh Assembly in 2013. Senator Dr Karim Ahmed Khawaja was appointed its first chairman.

The Sindh Assembly took lead in approving the legislation through Act in Sindh province.

Naseer Memon, General Manager CSR Public Affairs & Communications, Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company, said, “Thar foundation is excited to partner with SMHA and Charter for Compassion for the wellbeing of people in Tharparkar."

The Thar Foundation’s focus as compliance to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is to lead the Foundation to its final goal-end poverty, protect the people of Thar and bring peace and prosperity into the region. As part of their prioritized goals, Thar Foundation focuses on the following areas: Quality Education, Good Health and Well-being, Decent Work and Economic Growth, Reduced Inequalities, and Gender Equality.