At any given time, one in five people suffers from depression but rarely gets the treatment necessary due to acute social stigma surrounding mental illness, not to mention a scarcity of trained mental health experts in our country.
Keeping this in mind, the Psychological Health & Wellness Clinic (PHWC) in Banani was inaugurated on Saturday by State Minister for Information and Communication Technology, Zunaid Ahmed Palak.
The state minister said people lack awareness about mental healthcare, and this issue should be taken more seriously for a happy, healthy workforce.
In partnership with the Sajida Foundation, the Psychological Health & Wellness Clinic is offering a range of psychological services to cater to clients who value quality, nonjudgmental, and confidential treatment to address their concerns.
Chairperson and Director of Programs, Sajida Foundation, Zahida Fizza Kabir, Consultant Psychiatrist and Managing Director Ashique Selim, and Lead Psychological Counselor and Additional Managing Director Nissim Jan Sajid at the launching ceremony said that the clinic was a labour of love in their bid to build a healthier Bangladesh.
Zahida said the clinic came about after they began working on a project called the Inner Circle Psychosocial Support Centre a few years ago and realized there is a lack of trained professionals in the field.
Managing Director of the clinic, psychiatrist Ashique Selim noted that creating the wellness centre was his dream. He had always wanted to establish an international standard psychological clinic in Bangladesh.
“A patient has access to primary counseling in the country but getting secondary mental health treatment is very difficult. Currently just a handful of medical colleges and the National Institute of Mental Health and Hospital provide secondary services. But the demand is much higher than the supply and providing services to people with limited resources is very hard,” he said.
A verbal agreement has been made with Praava Health for the physical aspect of treatment and PHWC will focus on the therapy and consultation aspects, added Ashique.
On-site services at the clinic include Bio-Psycho-Social Triage, Psychiatric Assessment and treatment, Individual & Group Psychological Counseling via short/long term therapy, and also wellness-based workshops/trainings at the “Wellness Day Center”.
Furthermore, the center has provisions for a call-center, which is scheduled to become fully operational by April 2018. Off-site services include ‘Corporate and Garment Worker Wellness Training’ and Crisis Management Counseling services in humanitarian aid settings, as well as Individual Counseling services at private universities.