Developing countries like ours often push mental health far down on the priority list
Covid-19 has turned the world upside down, ever since the World Health Organization classified it as a pandemic back in March. But alongside the spread of this deadly virus, another epidemic has been silently growing -- that of mental health. The changed reality, the new normal, and the constant anxiety over illness and death have exacerbated mental health problems worldwide, and Bangladesh is no different in that regard.
To that end, it is good to see organizations like Sajida Foundation come forward to address this problem through programs like the Psychological Health and Wellness Clinic (PHWC), and the Sajida Mental Health Program (SMHP). These programs are providing a much-needed service in a society where to even speak of mental health issues is difficult due to the associated stigma.
One of SMHP’s admirable initiatives is to provide low-cost counselling for individuals in need. Right now, vulnerable communities need to be reached out to, and to that end, the Covid-19 support hotline from CITI Foundation in collaboration with Sajida Foundation could go a long way.
It would be wonderful to see other organizations, large and small, also come forward in the matter of mental health during what is for everyone a highly stressful time. Developing countries like ours often push mental health far down on the priority list due to many other overwhelming problems being at hand.
But the fact is, our ability to dig ourselves out of these other problems, and our ability to bounce back from a crisis, depend on our mental well-being. Without sound mental health, there is no resilience in a population.
Let us pay attention to this silent epidemic before it goes out of hand.