August 19, 2022
Lead Coordinator at Shuchona Foundation Nazish Arman

Lead Coordinator at Shuchona Foundation Nazish Arman

Experts: Over 80% of adults suffering from mental health disorders

Experts call for developing a mental health action plan

Over 80% of adults and 18% of children are suffering from mental health disorders but not getting enough support, says an expert linked to the World Health Organization (WHO).

“Mental Health is neglected in most countries, and the access to mental health services is unequal,” said WHO National Professional Officer of Mental Health Hasina Momotaz.

She was speaking as a panelist at the fifth installment of a series of webinars organized by SAJIDA Foundation on Sunday. Dhaka Tribune is the media partner of the event.

“The situation is almost similar to Bangladesh. As we have seen in the last mental health survey, more than 80% of adults and 18% of children are suffering from mental health disorders but not getting enough support,” she said.

The webinar, titled “World Mental Health Day: Mental Health in an Unequal World”, focused on the current issue of mental health treatment gap.

Lead Coordinator at Shuchona Foundation Nazish Arman recommended developing a mental health action plan to address the gap.“Bangladesh is one of the first countries in the WHO Southeast Asia region to place mental health as one of their top 10 priority health conditions, which we still don’t see in a lot of developed countries around the world,” she said.

“In order to address the gaps, we need to develop a mental health action plan. We are in the process of reviewing the mental health policy. We all need to work together,” she added.

SAJIDA Foundation, as a component of its continued effort to establish the importance of mental health, has been celebrating October as mental health awareness month for internal members of the organizations since 2018.

This year, celebrations were preceded closely by SAJIDA Mental Health Program’s ongoing two- month-long campaign, initiated in September, which consists of eight webinars with local and international expertise from the mental health space.

The most recent webinars were attended by Muhtasabbib Matin, training and operations specialist at Kaan Pete Roi, and Dr Ashique Selim, head of SAJIDA mental health program, as panelists.