First Lady: Mental healthcare must be accessible and affordable

First Lady Fazna Ahmed at the inauguration of the Psychology Symposium and Exhibition on October 10, 2023. (Photo/President's Office)

First Lady Fazna Ahmed says mental healthcare in crucial to fostering a healthy and productive society, stressing the need for the services to be accessible, affordable, and decentralized.

She made the remark at the inauguration of the second Psychology Symposium and Exhibition.

The event, organized by Villa College, took place at the QI Campus in observance of World Mental Health Day, on Tuesday.

In her speech, Fazna stressed the importance of ensuring that all citizens have access to appropriate mental health care, irrespective of their location or financial capacity.

She asserted that this approach ensures every individual's ability to contribute to their communities without being hindered by unaddressed mental health issues.

“Like a strong foundation is important to a building, mental wellbeing fuels the wellbeing of individuals, families, and the society as a whole. Accessible, affordable and decentralized mental healthcare is crucial a healthy and productive society,” she said.

Highlighting the importance of preventive measures in maintaining mental health, the First Lady advocated for enhanced efforts to identify and address mental health issues through primary healthcare systems and educational institutions.

She stressed the importance of addressing mental health concerns to maintain a peaceful, prosperous, and productive community.

She also reminded everyone of their collective responsibility to ensure proper mental health care for all, adding that mental wellbeing should be based on values of courage and empathy.

She further expressed hope that evidence-based treatments would continue to be widely available to those in need.

World Mental Health Day is observed annually on October 10. The theme for World Mental Health Day 2023 is 'Mental health is a universal human right.'