Islamabad: There has been almost a 100 percent increase in the number of cases of mental disorders in the past 10 years in Pakistan, say the experts. Insecurity, poverty, lack of education, inflation and erratic power supply are some of the factors contributing to it. Apart from genetic reasons, crimes too have increased the stress level in the society, experts said.

Pakistan has four government mental health hospitals with a total capacity of 3,000 beds. The private psychiatric hospitals have about 4,000 beds.

According to S Haroon Ahmed, President of Pakistan Association for Mental Health, there are only about 400 psychiatrists in the country, mostly concentrated in the urban areas. There are no trained psychiatric nurses and community mental health workers.

There had been a longstanding demand for investment, more workforce and development of infrastructure in the mental health sector, Ahmed said.

Pakistan also needed to invest to make people aware of the prevalence of mental disorders and their impact on national productivity, creativity, entrepreneurship and personal development, he said at a event in Karachi to mark the World Mental Health Day on October 10.

(Agencies)