Document Type

Original Article


In Pakistan, the treatment gap for mental disorders is significantly high. Pakistan faces a unique problem of sustainable delivery. In 2009, WHO launched a mental health gap action program (mhGap) to provide evidence-based services at the primary and secondary level for the prevention and management of psychiatric and neurological disorders. This article highlights the discrepancies of the systems and issues related to mental health services provision in Pakistan. By discussing two initiatives of mhGap implementation for the Pakistani health system, authors have surveyed core areas where the sustainability of such a model can be compromised. The structural challenges marked by the stresses of an economy under pressure, poverty, health disparities, weak administration, allocation of resources and stigma attached to MNS exacerbated by both natural disasters and geopolitical crises make implementation an ongoing challenge. Despite these challenges, in recent years, Pakistan has taken positive strides to start the conversations at leadership and the professional landscape, a trend that is likely to continue. The various components of public and private healthcare systems have remained inadequate to reduce this treatment gap. To create and maintain the momentum, support in terms of capital resource, human resources, infrastructure, and need for advocacy at governmental and non-governmental levels is necessarily required.

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