LETTER TO EDITOR
Pakistan has been listed as a developing country by the UNO for several decades now. However, in terms of accredited opportunities for further specialisation abroad by students gaining their MBBS in Pakistani medical colleges and universities, it is evident that mental health and psychiatric training is not at par with, say, medicine and surgery entry pathways. The reasons for this lag are likely to be multifactorial including but not limited to, the lack of attention by the Pakistani educational institution in developing the training pathways within Pakistan; the stigma attached to mental illness including the cultural and sub-cultural aspects of guilt and shame experienced by the families of the persons suffering mental illnesses and disorders; as well as the lack of interest in bright students having an ambition towards specialising in this field; lack of funding and resources; and lack of alignment with international institutions.
Remember: mental illness does not discriminate and can affect anyone; it is best countered by the professionals with the same discrimination-free approach.