Service for Aga Khan’s Health Pakistan established the Taskeen mental health helpline at the Aga Khan Medical Centre in Gilgit.

Mental Health And Wellbeing Is A Global Priority

Service for Aga Khan’s Health Pakistan established the Taskeen mental health helpline at the Aga Khan Medical Centre in Gilgit to offer the people of the area prompt, convenient, and private mental health support.

The Aga Khan Health Service in Pakistan, the Aga Khan University’s Brain and Mind Institute, and Taskeen, a nonprofit organisation that specialises in mental health awareness and counselling, joined forces to create the helpline.

The helpline will offer free psychological support and counselling by licenced psychologists from Chitral and Gilgit-Baltistan who are fluent in the regional tongues.

The event’s main guest was Mr. Mohyuddin Wani, Chief Secretary of Gilgit-Baltistan. “Mental health issues are frequently stigmatised, and there aren’t enough safe spaces for people to seek help,” he said, addressing the participants. We anticipate that the Taskeen helpline will offer a secure, private setting where people can discuss their issues and get assistance from qualified experts.

Recent research has shown that anxiety and depression are alarmingly common in Pakistan. Over 4% of Pakistan’s disease burden is accounted for by mental disorders, with women disproportionately affected.

40% of perinatal and young women experience anxiety or depressive disorders, making them especially vulnerable. According to studies, depression affects 40% of people who attempt or die by suicide. Suicide rates are high in Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral, according to reports.

The fact that the governments of Gilgit-Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have expressed concern and have consistently offered their support in addressing the impending mental health crisis greatly increases our confidence.

Speaking on behalf of Mr. Nadeem Abbas, Chief Executive Officer of Aga Khan Health Service, Pakistan, the Head of Clinical Units said, “We look forward to working closely with them to make a lasting change.

Dr. Zul Merali, Founding Director of Aga Khan University‘s Brain and Mind Institute, praised the helpline as a collaborative effort to address community members suffering in silence, comparing mental health to physical conditions that require treatment without shame.

Gilgit-Baltistan has relied on Aga Khan Health Service, Pakistan’s high-quality healthcare since 1987. Recent additions include advanced diagnostics, ophthalmology, cardiology, nephrology, urology, and dermatology. Teleconsulting has expanded to remote medical facilities via a mobile app.