We feel, good mental health is essential for staying firm and face various familial, social, and political pressure in the arduous journey of honest life. On the other hand, poor mental health often makes an individual susceptible to corruption. We think strengthening mental health along with our socio-religious approach may help in curbing corruption in the society.

An initiative to address mental health issues through service and research

Mental health and mental disorder are two important global issues today. A large number of people throughout the world suffer from mental disorders and many more around them encounter the impact. We ourselves did a community-based survey in an urban area in Dhaka City and found a third to a fifth with some form of mental disorder. With the ongoing social and cultural change, the problem is certainly on the rise. This is happening because the informal sector of extended family and friends’ support, opportunity of social interaction and physical facilities for recreation including sports are on the wane but people access to and use of digital world is booming. Interestingly, the problem costs us huge and much of it is not direct; we do not to see it. The child is not attentive to his study rather absorbed in the screen; we do not see the cost incurred today and the days to come. We see relationship sprouts with in a very short period of time and dissolute fast leaving many traumatized; we do not see the effect of near future. We see employees’ productivity and attentiveness hampered but we do not think it can be because of his poor mental health. We do not see the cost of losing many doctors and others to suicide who could have contributed a lot to our society.

The problem is we are not aware of the problem and we do not have an easy access to mental health care, which is grossly inadequate and sometime not utilized optimum. The country, Bangladesh with nearly 160 million people has only one psychologist or occupational therapist for nearly every 2 million people, one psychiatrist for every 640,000 people and one bed for nearly 200,000, mostly concentrated in the big cities.

And then we in the society stigmatized mental disorder. We did a study in 2016 at National Institute of Mental Health and found 60% care givers reported subjective stigma. The proportion of subjective stigma is certainly much more among those we are not coming in touch of mental health care. We in the society call a son of a severely mentally disordered person as pagoler put, daughter as pagoler ji and even the house cannot evade the the label pagoler bari nor the grandchildren as pagoler nati.  It may extend to the in laws as well calling son in law as pagoler jamai. The stigma consequently makes access to inadequate mental health harder to people with mental health issue as they are not willing to seek help and get a label.  I got specialization in psychiatry 2006 and till today I do not see patients as a psychiatrist rather as a general practitioner. My wife who is medical graduate often made fun of my specialization. However, she now changed her mind and asked me to work on it. That is an important turning point for me.  I remember the other day I asked my youngest son to go to an associate professor at a public mental health facility for attestation of his photos. He did not go there rather went to his school headmaster to get it done. Now my son is helping me developing the website and the app. These types of positives are really encouraging. Appended below is our vision, mission, specific objectives and work focus.

 

Vision

More people in the world will have a better mental health

 

Mission

More people in the resource poor area will have a better access to appropriate mental health care

Specific Objectives:

1. Establish a team who will be accessible 24/7 to anyone including the poor who need help in mental health problem.

  • Networking among the service providers and relevant others and their programs-bringing them under one umbrella.

  • Motivating the seniors about their social responsibility- one hour in a week wherever or whenever you feel comfortable.

  • Recruiting junior service providers including psychologist, occupational therapist and psychiatrist

  • Development of software infrastructure including website, apps and social networking sites to enhance  the access

 

2. Establishing an Institutional Review Board with research review and ethics review subcommittee               

3. Development of guideline and programs through research focusing on emerging and existing burning mental health problem including  

  • Parenting

  • Substance abuse

  • Adjustment

  • Personality

  • Assessment of mental health

  • Internet use

  • Suicide

  • Geriatric care

  • Family Therapy

  • Other common mental disorders

 

Work Focus

  1. Increase awareness of importance of mental health and accessibility to mental health care through networking, technical know-how improvement and cost reduction

  2. Improvement of standard of care through appropriate prevention, treatment and rehabilitation guideline formulation and capacity building

  3. Generating research-based evidence for appropriate intervention

List of the members who expressed their interest to be a part of it

 

1. Dr. Mohammed Islam

    Senior Medical Officer,

    Tamaki Oranga Recovery Centre, Auckland, New Zealand

    shakhu@gmail.com; Mohammed.Islam@middlemore.co.nz

 

2. Prof Dr Md Faruq Alam

    Ex-Director Cum Professor,

    National Institute of Mental Health, Dhaka, Bangladesh

    faruqalam60@gmail.com

 

3. Professor Bidhan Ranjan Roy Podder

    Director Cum Professor,

    National Institute of Mental Health, Dhaka, Bangladesh

    bidhanranjan@gmail.com

 

4. Dr. Sohaila Ahmad

    Junior Consultant, 

    National Institute of Mental Health, Dhaka

    sohailaahmad959@gmail.com

5. Dr. Sultana Algin

    Department of Psychiatry, BSMMU

    algin28@gmail.com  

 

6. Dr. MM Jalal Uddin (1972)

    Associate Professor,

    National Institute of Neurosciences and Hospital, Bangladesh

    jalal29march@yahoo.com

 

7. Dr. Mohammad Monirul Islam

    Psychiatrist

    Combined Military Hospital, Dhaka Cantonment

    monirtitu@yahoo.com   

 

8. Dr. Mohammad Shamsul Ahsan

    Associate Professor,

    Department of Psychiatry, BSMMU

    ahsan_shamsul@yahoo.com; mohammadshamsulahsan@yahoo.com

 

9. Dr. Mohammed Zubayer Miah

    Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry,

    Shaheed Tajuddin Ahmad Medical College, Gazipur, Bangladesh            

    zubayer_miah@yahoo.com

 

10. Dr. Mohammad Gias Uddin

      Associate Professor and Head of Psychiatry,

      Chattagram Maa o Shishu Hospital Medical College, Agrabad

      sagor_psyc@yahoo.com

 

11. Dr. Susmita Roy

      Associate Professor and Head of Psychiatry,

      Jalalabad Ragib-Rabeya Medical College Sylhet, Bangladesh.    

      susmita07@hotmail.com

 

12. Dr. Bulbul Ahmed Khan

      Registrar, Department of Psychiatry,

      Uttara Adhunik Medical College

      psychdr.ahmed@gmail.com

 

13. Dr Md Saleh Uddin

      Assistant Professor,

      Department of Psychiatry, BSMMU

      mohammad.salehuddin@gmail.com

 

14. Dr. Sharmin Akter Pali

      Psychiatry resident,

      BSMMU

      sharmin01729115508@gmail.com

 

15. Dr. Md. Manirul Islam (Initiator)

      Psychiatrist,

      Mental Health Group International

      dr.munir1962@gmail.com

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LUBH  (Let's Be Honest)

towards a fair society

(Established: 2000)