Commitment to serve people | By Muhammad Zahid Rifat

78

Commitment to serve people

Pakistan’s population continues to grow rapidly in an unabated manner outpacing the national as well as families resources particularly of the people in middle and lower segments of the society.

Prevailing continuously increasing prices of essential daily use articles are not only making peoples lives difficult but also causing many health problems as. Increasing number of people including women and children are suffering from mental health disorders and psychological problems.

Country’s population has already crossed the figure of 220 million but ,quite unfortunately, has the poorest mental health indicators as the existing number of psychologists and psychiatrists are very much on the low side This acute paucity of mental health professionals were causing a big gap among the mentally sick people and the health specialists availability for their treatment.

Psychological problems in the country were, somehow, pretty widespread. There was no accurate data available from either official sources or private organizations.

However, according to a rough estimate around 50 million of all ages and genders were suffering from mental disorders.

A wide range of psychiatric problems which were generally being reported in both urban and areas of the country due to varying reasons and factors were depression, substance and excessive alcohol use, schizohrenia, bipolar disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder.

According to another available estimate, pretty high ratio of 36 per cent of people in the country were suffering from anxiety and depression what was generally caused by .

strained family and friendship relations, feelings of somehow being unfit in the society, the continuous unstable economic and political situations in the country which were adversely contributing to increasing ratio of unemployment and poverty.

Bipolar disorder was a mental health problem which causes extreme, unusual and unexpected shifts in mood, energy and activity levels of the sufferers.

While it was socially acceptable to go to the health professionals for some or other physical problems, seeking help for psychological disorders was somehow rather problematic in the country.

By and large, the families, irrespective of their social status, often hide mental illness cases for preventing the suffering patients from adverse stereotyping.

As briefly stated above that there was acute shortage of clinical psychologists and psychiatrists in Pakistan somehow, it was good to note that people particularly young women were now opting for studying and specialising in clinical psychology for treating their fellow countrymen of all ages and genders suffering from psychological and psychiatric problems and issues.

One such young woman was Zunaira Qayyum Khan who hailed from Gujranwala and was currently busy completing her higher studies in Clinical Psychology in the University of Lahore for accomplishing her childhood dream of becoming a well-known figure in medical profession as a qualified Clinical Psychologist in the country. One of her maternal aunt was somehow abnormal.

As a child she used to look after her and this only further strengthened her desire to become a clinical psychologist. It was generally said and believed that if a doctor just listened attentively to his patient, almost half of his/her was even gone before taking any formal medication.

Both psychologists and psychiatrists, as a matter of fact, were trained to identify mental disorders, problems and issues. A psychologist may help the patients in addressing symptoms through therapy whereas a psychiatrist prescribes medication to treat any such patient.

Claiming herself to be a good listener, which somehow is a rare quality among the medical professionals, Zunaira Qayyum Khan said that she really wanted to her countrymen’s sorrows and spend her in serving the people of Pakistan, every day she was praying to Almighty Allah to grant her courage to become a better person and a successful clinical psychologist for the people who were suffering from any illness.

Will spend all her life working for better health of kids and adults suffering from one or the other mental health problems.

She said that she would be telling all the people, irrespective of sex and age who come to her to remember that no matter how difficult life be there was always hope and there was always help.

She already has to her credit of working with the adult patients at the Punjab Institute e of Mental Health and with autistic children at an international institute in Gulberg in Lahore.

She emphatically stated that her mission in life was not money but to make the people feel better and that people who were having sort of great stress in life should come to her and she would help them overcome their problems.

Reiterating her dedication and commitment to serve the people as a clinical psychologist, Zunaira Qayyum Khan concluded by saying, “It has always been my dream dram to help people who are having issues with the stress of life.

Everyone has problems. My message is simple: please help the people. Talk with people who look sad, lonely or depressed. Talking with kindness costs nothing. If we want a secure and healthy society, then we must develop a sense of caring for one another”.

Please join this scribe in praying for the success and achieving her life long dream of becoming a successful clinical psychologist for Zunaira Qayyyum Khan and others young men and women who have similar good ideas, thinking and commitment of serving the people selflessly, dedicatedly with determination and goodness at heart.

—The writer is a retired Deputy Controller (News), Radio Pakistan, based in Lahore.