The MoPH termed mental illness as a nationwide problem.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Minister of Public Health, Ferozuddin Feroz, said that women are more prone to mental health problems than men.
“Depression and anxiety disorders are the major mental illnesses that have high rate among Afghans. Nearly 72 percent of people affected by depression are women and 60 percent of those suffering from anxiety disorders are men,” he added.
He said that currently 300 centers are providing mental health services.
“Lack of mental health workers and insufficient budget are the two main problems hampering the MoPH to provide affected people across the country with mental health services,” Feroz said, adding that the MoPH is committed to raise the number of mental health centers from 300 to 500.
He termed war, unemployment and poverty as major factors behind the rise of mental health problems among Afghans.
According to a survey jointly conducted by the Afghan and US government across the country, there are three million drug addicts in Afghanistan. It is said that drug addiction is the outcome of mental problems.
The theme for World Mental Health Day, marked on 10 October, is “Dignity in mental health”. The day provides public awareness and opportunities for all health employees to talk about their needs and accelerate their efforts for decreasing mental illness.
Medical Superintendent of Alawddin Mental Health Hospital, Khwaja Siddiqi, said that they receive around 200 patients of mental health issues on daily basis.
He added that majority of patients, who come to the hospital for treatment, are women.
“In most cases they complain of domestic violence and poverty,” he said.
Siddiqi added that they are providing the patience with consultation and therapy for free.