Karachi: 31 January 2019: The British Deputy High Commission, Karachi, in partnership with the British Asian Trust, CareTech Foundation and COSARAF Charitable Foundation hosted a screening of the movie Cake to raise awareness of mental health in Pakistan. Sayed Zulfiqar Bukhari, the movie’s producer and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister and Minister of State on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development, along with Sanam Saeed and Adnan Malik, Cake’s leading actors, attended the event to take part in a panel discussion.
Other members on the panel also included Dr Murad Musa, Psychiatrist at Agha Khan University, and the Captain of Pakistan’s national football team, Hajra Khan. They shared their own experiences of raising mental health awareness in the country.
The British Asian Trust, along with CareTech Foundation and COSARAF Charitable Foundation, started work in mental health in Pakistan in May 2018 to counter the growing mental health crisis in Pakistan. There is extreme disparity in the country between those requiring mental health services and those qualified to deliver it. In Pakistan, there are just 400 psychiatrists to serve over 200 million people, 25 percent of whom are known to suffer from mental health issues.
Elin Burns, British Deputy High Commissioner, said,
“Mental health is a growing crisis in the country and we need to promote conversations that can help in spreading awareness and acceptance about this important issue.”
Sayed Zulfiqar Bukhari, commented,
“I am pleased to be a part of Cake, and an organisation such as the British Asian Trust that is diligently working to raise awareness about mental health in Pakistan.”
“The British Asian Trust is doing vital work in a region where the situation is very complex and tens of millions suffer in silence from mental health issues. We’re very proud to be underpinning the work of the British Asian Trust and helping support the most vulnerable people across South Asia.”
The mental health programme was developed by the British Asian Trust, a UK diaspora-led organisation working to unlock and maximise the potential of people in South Asia through local, high-impact and innovative initiatives in Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
The CareTech Foundation was established in 2017 by CareTech plc, a leading provider of social care services in the United Kingdom. It has a goal of supporting sufferers of disabilities and mental health problems, supporting local communities and developing skills in the care sector.
The COSARAF Charitable Foundation was established in 2007 by Haroon and Farouq Sheikh, and the wider Sheikh family, to benefit communities and individuals in the UK and abroad. The Foundation’s work focuses on promoting strong and cohesive communities, enabling young people to realise their potential and empowering women and girls.