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KP’s first institute of mental health opened in Peshawar

PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s first of its kind Institute of Mental Health and Behavioral Sciences (IMHBS) was formally inaugurated in Peshawar on Thursday.

Caretaker Chief Minister Muhammad Azam Khan formally inaugurated the institute at a ceremony.

Apart from providing quality treatment facilities to mentally-ill people, the institute will also offer a academic programs, including diplomas and degrees in bachelor, master and doctorate to all cadres of health providers.

Besides an emergency unit, an OPD, ICU, a psychiatric unit, family counseling, rehabilitation centre and other related specialties would also be available in the institute. Initially, OPD services have been started whereas the rest of the aforementioned services would be started in a phased manner.

 Addressing the ceremony, the chief minister termed the establishment of the institute a milestone achievement and a good addition in health service delivery system.

He added that people grappling with mental challenges will have state of the art healthcare facilities in the newly established institute. He said that a separate board would be constituted in order to run this Institute in an autonomous and effective manner. He hoped that the institute will also play key role in legislation and policy making related to mental health as well as develop international linkages for clinical services, research and international accreditation.

He said that globally, mental illness was on the rise and Pakistan was especially challenged when it comes to mental health. He stressed the need to change the prevailing social attitude towards these patients and added that unfortunately the topic of mental health was still a taboo in Pakistan which was giving rise to number of individuals with undiagnosed mental disorder.

Adviser to the chief minister in health Dr Riaz Anwar, Director General Health Dr Shaukat Ali and others also addressed the ceremony and highlighted the salient features of IMHBS.

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