NCHR to work on malpractice in mental health facilities

Islamabad: To launch an effort against malpractice and lack of regulation in mental health facilities in Pakistan, the National Human Rights Commission (NCHR) has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with the civil society organization “Tasteen”.

NCHR and Taskeen will work together on mental health and human rights, including mental health promotion and advocacy. They plan to work on improving the regulation of mental health services to ensure that patients are protected and their rights are respected. They will launch a public awareness campaign to promote mental health and reduce the stigma associated with mental health at the community, provincial and national levels. They will also publish a report on the state of mental health services and facilities in Pakistan and provide policy recommendations to lawmakers.

The NCHR recently received a complaint about the violation of human rights in a mental health facility. The Commission immediately opened an investigation, which is still ongoing.

NCHR President Rabiya Javeri Agha expressed deep concern about malpractice and the lack of mental health regulation in Pakistan. “People with mental health issues are already vulnerable and then exploited by unqualified practitioners who then do more harm than good,” she said.

Poverty, war, compromised education, poor health and gender inequality are both a cause and a consequence of poor mental health in Pakistan. Estimates show that about a quarter of Pakistanis suffer from mental disorders and more than 80% of them are untreated.

People with mental disorders are often unable to defend themselves or access mental health treatment and services, especially if they are unable to use their full mental abilities. People with mental disorders are also particularly vulnerable to physical and sexual abuse.

International human rights standards have incorporated mental health as a human rights issue. The annual report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights explains that those who suffer from invisible disabilities such as mental health problems are also much more likely to suffer from declining physical health. Their life expectancy is 15 to 20 years less than that of the general population.

“Pakistan does not have a comprehensive mental health plan or emotional mental health policy,” said NCHR Chairperson Rabiya Javeri Agha. “Although the provinces have mental health laws, they are still not enforced. Currently, there is no mental health legislation in Islamabad. Mental health institutions, facilities and practitioners remain unregulated and unmonitored. »

About Stephen Ewing

Check Also

Framework and Toolkit for Infection Prevention and Control in Outbreak Preparedness, Preparedness and Response at the Health Care Facility Level

Insight Infectious disease outbreaks and epidemics are increasing in frequency, scale and impact. Healthcare facilities …