“I felt that someone grabbed my heart and I had heart palpitations. I started shouting and saying to my colleagues to run away or else I will beat you.”
One day at work, Rashid became extremely agitated and threatened his workmates. The next day, he was fired. “At that time we were not aware of what was happening to him,” his wife says.
Rashid went to see various doctors, but only when his wife contacted a community health worker did he get the help he needed from our partner Basic Needs (BN) Pakistan. Rashid’s wife explained to the team that he was unemployed, suffering from disturbed sleep, having “false thoughts and talking to illusions”. She said that some days he could be extremely aggressive, yet on others be very pleasant. He was unable to lead an independent life or earn a steady living. Sometimes he even said that he wanted to die.
BN Pakistan diagnosed schizophrenia and Rashid was treated with medication and counselling.
Through the efforts he has made, Rashid is now a lot better. He has found himself a job as a school security guard and is able to help his wife around the house. He has become part of the community again and is combating the preconception that people who have a mental illness are unable to work.
Mental health is a desperately under-reported and under-resourced crisis in Pakistan and right across South Asia. We’re asking for your help to change minds and end the misery and despair experienced by so many because of untreated mental health issues. Please help us to start Changing Minds now.