Model turned television and film actress Sanam Saeed took the task of addressing the stigmas associated with mental health discussions and urged people to have conversations at in early age and normalize treating mental wellbeing as important as physical. The actress penned down a compelling note on the subject, on World Mental Health Day.
“Mental health, although being talked about more and more nowadays, is still extremely misunderstood and stigmatized, especially in Pakistan, where people think ignoring or hiding the issue will make it go away,” wrote Sanam.
“However, the opposite tends to be true—the more open we are about it, the more we speak up about the issues, the more we acknowledge the mental health crisis around us, the easier it will be for people to seek help, to support one another and to pay attention to their own emotions and mental health,” she continued to state.
“1 in 4 people will and do face a mental health issue at some point in their lives that’s approximately 1.95 billion people worldwide; it is estimated that over two-thirds of these people never seek help, due to the stigma and lack of awareness around it.
It is time to speak up about all the mental health issues we see occur and the lack of resources and support available to help our people. It is time to educate people and inform them that there IS help and treatment out there and mental health issues can and should be treated with the appropriate interventions. It is time to stop ignoring the issue and moving towards acceptance and solutions,” said the Daam actress.
“We need to start these conversations from an early school-going age, as early as children are taught about physical health—they should learn about mental health and be taught how to communicate and to talk about their feelings and emotions and also to be kind and show empathy to others,” Sanam pointed to the solution as well as take responsibility for working towards the goals.
“As influencers, we are given a platform to shed light on these important issues and to act as mentors to our youth and our people and to encourage them to share their stories too. The more real and genuine we are about ourselves, the more others will know that there is no shame in struggling, or feeling low, or anxious or having bad days- we all have them,” she added.