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PM Shehbaz launches mental health app on World Health Day

ISLAMABAD, APR 07 (DNA) — In celebration of World Health Day, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif announced the launch of the Pakistan government’s first dedicated mental health app and helpline. “On this World Health Day today, I am pleased to announce the launch of Government’s first dedicated mental health App Humraaz and helpline,” he said in a tweet. The prime minister said citizens’ well-being and especially mental health was paramount for the society’s improvement. “We need to remove taboo around mental health,” he added. The app, called Humraaz, was part of the government’s ongoing efforts to address the rising mental health crisis in the country. The app and helpline were designed to provide easy access to mental health services for individuals who need them. The services offered by the app included consultation services and appointments with psychiatrists and psychologists. Users could also report emergencies and seek help if they are experiencing suicidal thoughts or other mental health emergencies. Speaking about the initiative, Salman Sufi, the head of the prime minister’s strategic reforms, emphasised the importance of mental health services in Pakistan. He explained that there were not enough mental health professionals in the country and the app and helpline were an effort to improve the health and quality of life of those who suffer from deteriorating mental health. The app would also help the government collect more accurate data on mental health issues in the country. Mr Sufi added that the government was working on introducing a proper licensing and certification system for psychologists and psychiatrists. The launch of the app was a significant step towards normalizing conversations about mental health in Pakistan and ending the stigma that often surrounds it. The prime minister emphasized the importance of removing the taboo around mental health, saying that citizens’ well-being, especially their mental health, is paramount for the society’s improvement. The initiative was being developed jointly by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Ministry of Health, under the prime minister’s strategic reforms unit. The app and helpline would be available to all citizens of Pakistan, and the government hopes that it would pave the way for mental health to be recognized as a critical public health concern in the country. — DNA

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