Psychiatrists can be a part of the team dealing with mental disorders but cannot manage them alone-Norman Sartorius


Fountain House branch being established at Sargodha

Psychiatrists can be a part of the team dealing
with mental disorders but cannot manage
them alone - Norman Sartorius

Fountain House has more than 400 members; their medical
social emotional needs are met with passion-Dr. Amjad Saqib

LAHORE: About 40% of the population suffers from some sort of mental and neurological disorders, 50% of which can be prevented and 50% can be treated well. Psychiatrists alone cannot do it but they can be part of a tem dealing with these disorders. This was stated by Prof. Norman Sartorius a world renowned mental health expert who has been heading the mental health division at WHO for over thirty years. He was speaking at the inaugural session of Asia Pacific Conference on Psychosocial Rehabilitation held here from November 1-4th2013. This inaugural session was held at the Fountain House, an institution for the rehabilitation of mentally ill established by late Prof. M. Rashid Chaudhry in 70s. Governor Punjab Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar was the chief guest on this occasion.

Prof. Norman Sartorius further stated that this conference will provide us an opportunity to see how we can jointly attack these diseases. Healthy people will move Pakistan towards healthy developments. With this conference, mental health of People of Pakistan, he opined, will move to new heights and help us form a joint action plan to manage these diseases.
Dr. Amjad Saqib Founder of Akhawat in his speech on the occasion said that Fountain House was established in early 70s and now its affairs are managed by a Management Committee. There are more than four hundred members who are residing here and their medical, social and emotional needs are met with passion and love. It is run and managed with the financial assistance from donors from the civil society and philanthropists. We have a Drug Rehabilitation Center, school for mentally impaired children, autism center, and vocational training center. More than fifteen hundred delegates visit Fountain House every year. He also disclosed that now a state of the art Fountain House is being built at Sargodha and in future God willing, we might establish more branches in the country. Justice Nasira Javed Iqbal also briefly addressed the participants and commended the services being rendered by this blooming and flowering institution.
Governor of Punjab Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar welcomed the local and foreign delegates attending the conference and said that generally the perception about Pakistan is that it is a dangerous country to visit though the reality was completely different. He hoped that all the foreign delegates attending the conference will go back to their respective countries with good memories and serve as Goodwill Ambassadors for Pakistan. While in UK I often used to visit such institutions there. Nations he said can be judged how they treat their poor and under privileged, mentally ill and elderly people. We do not have enough psychiatrists to look after the mental healthcare needs of Pakistan and we must train more mental healthcare professionals, he added.
Earlier Dr. Afzal Javed President of World Association for Psychosocial Rehabilitation who helped organize this international conference which attracted forty four foreign delegates from seventeen countries in his welcome address said that we can get better, as we cannot go any worse. Fountain House is a model rehabilitation center for mentally ill in the whole of South East Asia and credit goes to the visionary late Prof. M. Rasheed Chaudhry who established it. After his death, his illustrious son late Prof. M. Haroon Rashid Chaudhry added many new facilities besides expanding the existing services but he too passed away few years ago. At the time of having this session at Fountain House, I am sure the souls of these two late mental healthcare stalwarts are with us and must be happy to see these new developments, he remarked.