PESHAWAR: The Pakistan Psychological Association (PPA) has expressed concern over the recent murder of a young woman Noor Mukadam in Islamabad and urged the policy-makers to look into the mental health issues properly with a special focus on increasing the spread of substance abuse in society.
The PPA executive and other members came to know about this horrible story, which, they said, was a heinous crime and was reported as a pre-planned criminal act through the media.
An emergency meeting of the executive members of the association was held here on Sunday wherein the situation was discussed and some recommendations were made.
The participants said there was a need to take practical steps to ameliorate mental health issues, including substance abuse effectively and professionally to safeguard the lives of millions of individuals and their families affected directly or indirectly by these issues.
The executive members of the association urged the government to form Mental Health Commission as soon as possible as mentioned in the 2001 Mental Health Act.
It was suggested that all mental health treatment centres, including the drug addiction treatment centres, both public and private, maybe persuaded and coerced to work under the Mental Health Act to follow the best practices recommended by the mental health professionals. The PPA executive members said only those centres approved by the Pakistan Mental Health Commission may be authorised to provide mental health treatment, including treatment of drug addicts.
They said special squads must be trained in line with the international best practices under the mental health regulations with legal support to intervene in emergency situations professionally.
The executive members asked the government to include mental health treatment in the Sehat Card system to provide treatment to everyone at the door steps in view of all possible preventive measures.
They urged Pakistan Psychiatric Society to organise a national conference or dialogue forthwith in collaboration with Pakistan Psychological Association, adding that therapeutic practices must be linked with licensing by the relevant authorities.
It is worth mentioning here the Pakistan Psychological Council bill has been passed by the National Assembly and is waiting to be tabled in the Senate.
The PPA executives demanded the parliamentarians to expedite the legislation making to regularize psychological services grounded in mental health and human rights perspectives as its delay is causing multiple problems.