Pakistan cricket team squad, which is currently in the UK to play a series against England and then the World Cup, attended a charity event at the Savoy Hotel. Selected dignitaries, high-profile community members and business leaders were in attendance for the launch of the British Asian Trust’s 2019 Ramazan campaign titled “They call me crazy”.The British Asian Trust, founded by HRH The Prince of Wales, works for charitable causes in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. The fundraising dinner marked the formal launch of a three-year strategic partnership which will harness the powerful voice and support of the national cricket team to help tackle the stigma around mental health and create long-term change in Pakistan. The Ramazan appeal — "They call me crazy" — aims to create mass awareness about mental health issues and enable the British Asian Trust to scale up its mental health programme in Pakistan. The Trust aims to reach 150,000 people and touch the lives of 500,000 more over the next five years through provision of community-based healthcare, training and awareness raising to improve knowledge, referrals and access to support.
LONDON: The British Asian Trust and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has formally launched a three-year partnership to harness the power of cricket in Pakistan to challenge the stigma around mental health.Richard Hawkes, Chief Executive of the British Asian Trust, said, “It is crucial that we act now to tackle the desperately under-reported and under-resourced mental health crisis in Pakistan. “Since 2018, we have significantly stepped up mental health support in Pakistan. The funds raised by our 2019 Ramazan appeal will allow us to scale up our programmes further and help us with our ambition to directly reach 150,000 people and touch the lives of 500,000 more over the next five years. “We’re delighted to have a committed partner in the PCB to help us raise awareness and challenge stigma around mental health, both in Pakistan and internationally. As well as providing much needed services, lifting the silence on mental health and educating communities is paramount to achieving real long-term change.” PCB Managing Director, Wasim Khan, said, “We are delighted to support the British Asian Trust’s 2019 Ramazan appeal to combat mental health issues in Pakistan." “As the PCB, we have an opportunity to play our part in raising awareness of this important cause. The lack of education and understanding means that the condition goes undetected; which can have a devastating impact on the quality of life for both the individuals and their families.Wasim added, "Like many countries, the taboo surrounding mental health problems means that hundreds of thousands of citizens don’t receive treatment, or any kind of support. We as the PCB believe it is important that we use our standing in Pakistan society to stand up and encourage people to seek help.” According to the World Health Organisation , one in four people will be affected by mental health disorders in their lifetime – accounting for more than 50 million people in Pakistan. Yet there are fewer than 400 psychiatrists and 500 psychologists in the country to support them, as well as widespread stigma attached to speaking openly about personal mental health and well-being.