Neglect of mental health

It is appallingly upsetting that the government has not put in place rules to regulate mental health care in the country

The absence of a regulatory policy is producing grave consequences for those suffering from mental disorders and their families

There are rules and policies under which general medical practitioners, specialist physicians and surgeons function

Unfortunately, there are no such arrangements for mental health practitioners nor are there any code of ethics that define the limits of responsibilities of mental health practitioners or the rights of patients to seek remedies if their mental health deteriorates as a result of mistakes by consultants

This has enabled quacks to work as mental health practitioners

Also, there are those that have entered the profession through the short-cut

They are in possession of only a diploma in psychology, which is awarded after a few months

This short course does not equip them to properly treat those having even minor mental issues

There are reports that patients’ conditions deteriorated instead of improving after they remained under the treatment of diploma-holder psychologists

Such patients and their families are unable to do anything against improperly qualified practitioners for lack of a code of ethics for the latter

Sadly enough, there are no rules and regulations that can prevent fake psychologists and psychiatrists from posing themselves as mental health experts

This unhappy situation prevails even though the Supreme Court has declared physical and mental health part of the right to life

The Lahore High Court recently asked the federal and provincial governments whether there were rules to administer mental health practitioners

This is in spite of the fact that there is the Punjab Mental Health Authority supposedly to oversee matters pertaining to mental health

A petition has been filed with the LHC asking the provincial government to take steps to prevent mental illness and ensure that mental health practitioners are only genuinely qualified

Mental health is too serious a matter to trust it to quacks

Published in The Express Tribune, September 14th, 2021

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Date:15-Sep-2021 Reference:View Original Link