Economic Development incomplete without mental wellbeing: Ahsan Iqbal

Islamabad, October 26, 2016 (PPI-OT): Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Ahsan Iqbal said that economic development of a country depends on the mental wellbeing of its people. Federal Minister Ahsan Iqbal expressed these views while addressing a Round Table Conference on Mental Health at the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform. This conference was attended by a group of senior psychiatrists, development partners, NGOs and Ministry of Health representatives.

The Round Table Conference aimed to bring mental health to the forefront of the national agenda and to devise a roadmap to deal with the existing mental health issues in the country. He urged all stakeholders to collaborate with each other and come up with recommendations to address the contemporary challenges faced by Pakistan in terms of mental health.

Minister noted that mental health has been one of the highly neglected areas in Pakistan which is ironic because, given our history of terrorist attacks; there should have been more focus on it. He suggested to conduct scientific study on the impact of terrorist attacks on mental health and added that mental health is as important as physical health.

”Pakistanis faced mental health issues not only as individual level rather a huge chunk of our society faces mental health challenges .He said that positive thinking is an integral part of any nation’s success. He further maintained that there is dire need to build positive image of the country not only in the world rather we need to disseminate positivity within our own society.”

People of Pakistan are starving for good news to come out of bad situation and uncertain circumstances. He emphasized that success only comes with a half-glass full approach and there is a need for our youth to internalize positive self-image and optimism. Addressing the group he said that the narrative of negativity and hopelessness needs to be turned into one that focuses on a positive and progressive attitude.

The participants applauded the efforts of the Ministry in bringing together stakeholders for addressing this long-neglected issue, and in bringing it to the national agenda. The group appreciated the Minister for realizing the need for addressing the mental health situation in the country.

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