By Rasha Alshafie
| September 29, 2021
Saaya Health and the Pakistan Mental Health Coalition

The Pakistan Mental Health Coalition (PMHC) is a network of organizations and individuals passionate about helping Pakistanis affected by stress and mental health problems. PMHC was founded at the start of the pandemic when the founding members made a collaborative effort to offer free mental health services for the citizens of Pakistan. The vision of the PMHC is to collaboratively promote a holistic and multisectoral approach for mental health in Pakistan.

Saaya Health is one of the founding and core members of the coalition. Taskeen, British Asian Trust, Aga Khan University (AKU), IRD Pakistan, and Sehat Kahani, are the founding and core members along with Saaya Health. As a company, Saaya Health firmly believes in the power of collaborative effort. Advocacy, policy, and regulation for mental health in Pakistan are problems that require systemic change, and these problems can only be addressed through organized and synergized efforts of different mental health stakeholders.  The members of the coalition not only include those entities working directly in mental health but also allied stakeholders such as media houses, corporations, and educational institutions.

Currently, PMHC has a Core Committee that is responsible for taking strategic decisions and a general body that makes it possible for the coalition to fulfill its objectives at the national level. The functions of the general body include, but are not limited to, providing a platform to improve coordination, and communication amongst different organizations and individuals, recognizing gaps in the system, and to share best practices, training, and capacity building opportunities. In addition to this, the PMHC also has a secretariat that dedicates resources for internal coordination and communication with external actors; and subcommittees that work on the execution of specific projects and programs on behalf of the coalition such as the suicide decriminalization campaign. Currently, Taskeen Pakistan is leading the role of the secretariat. 

 The objectives of the PMHC are as follows:

1.     To advocate for the development of comprehensive national and provincial mental health legislation and strategic plans using a multisectoral approach.

2.     To develop and promote quality standards for the delivery of primary, secondary, and tertiary mental health services.

3.     To engage members by providing them a platform for capacity building through the dissemination of innovations and best practices in the mental health field.

4.     To establish a network offering member organizations opportunities to embark on collaborative interventions.

 Saaya Health is delighted to be a part of PMHC as it will provide a platform to improve coordination, and communication amongst different organizations and individuals, and make it possible to recognize gaps in the system and to share best practices, training, and capacity building opportunities. You can check out the PMHC website at https://pakmh.com/

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