Planning ministry launches mental health support unit

Staff Reporter

The Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives launched on Sunday the Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) unit as a part of its emergency response to COVID-19.

According to a press release issued by the ministry, the initiative is funded by United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) Pakistan.

The aim of this initiative is to develop an evidence-driven MHPSS model which is right-based, scalable and sustainable.

The project is also aimed at raising public awareness for psychosocial well-being of at-risk population and address stigma and discrimination of infected populations.

It would also help identifying and managing stress related conditions in frontline responders, and integrate mental health and psychosocial support in response activities.

The project would also provide psychosocial support to the most vulnerable population groups including women and children at risk, bereaved families, and people with disabilities besides providing mental healthcare for those suffering from mental disorders.

A Mental Health Co-ordination Unit has been set up at the Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives to implement a pilot project in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) to develop a mental health force which will be trained to provide mental health and psychosocial support through inter-sectoral collaboration.

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