Mental health problems are still seen as a taboo in Pakistan. Many people therefore tend to play them down or ignore them. This means there is increased demand for experienced advisors who can use careful observation to detect signs of mental crises. “Nowadays, it’s more important than ever to invest in mental health and get the conversation started”, says Faisal Shabbir, an advisor at the Pakistani-German Facilitation and Reintegration Centre (PGFRC). “No one with mental health problems has to be alone.”
Shabbir provides reintegration and career advice, and is a member of the Mental Health and Psychosocial Services Group (MHPSS). This advisor knows that people who are cut off from their family when they emigrate can suffer from mental health issues. Language barriers as well as social and cultural differences can also make it difficult for migrants to integrate into social life in their destination country. Only a few of them are courageous enough to seek professional counselling from a psychologist.