Umang Pakistan: Mental health helpline for Pakistan
Pakistan's first free of cost mental health helpline
September is known to be National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. In light of this there has been talk on social media about mental health in these past weeks. A topic that is somewhat taboo in Pakistan.
I came across a specific post on several people’s stories on Instagram about an upcoming event in Lahore, to show support and raise awareness about mental health and suicide prevention. And this is where I discovered Umang Pakistan’s page.
Umang is Pakistan’s first 24/7, free of cost mental health helpline. Founded by Dr. Kinza Naeem, this helpline is run by clinical psychologists and certified counselors. And all counselors are monitored by senior certified psychologists who have over 20 years of experience.
This helpline provides emergency counselling over the phone and on texts. There are experts who can deal with depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, phobias, grief, post traumatic stress disorder, and other psychological disorders.
Director and co-founder Dr. Sarah Farrukh says, “Counselling is still a fairly new concept in Pakistan due to lack of awareness. Our mission is to provide a free of cost service 24/7”.
It is true that there is a lack of awareness and a stigma attached to mental health in this society. People often refrain from speaking about their problems in fear of being judged or dismissed entirely.
This initiative is a great step towards change in the way Pakistanis perceive mental health, and a much needed one.
See Umang Pakistan’s website for more information.
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