Improving mental health of street children

Why this is important 

Street children in Pakistan are at high risk of experiencing trauma and abuse, including physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. They also often lack access to basic needs such as food, shelter, and medical care. Such experiences can have a lasting impact on their mental health and well-being, leading to conditions such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Mental health issues are often overlooked or ignored in Pakistan, and there is a lack of awareness and support for those who suffer from mental health issues. This can make it difficult for street children to access the help and support they need. 

To understand the traumas of street children, it is important to sensitise child protection officers and members of the legal fraternity towards the basic principles of acceptance, communication, non-judgemental attitudes, self-control, and empathy to change their attitudes when dealing with children.  

This project is helping to identify and address mental health issues of street children which will provide rehabilitation counselling and therapy services and create a safe and supportive environment for street children. 

Project Partners: AAS Trust and Save Our Children Foundation (SOCF)

Duration:2022 - 2023

Project goals  

  • A children engagement programme to enhance improved mental health of male and female children who are undergoing institutional rehabilitation.  
  • Community outreach services to increase awareness on parenting skills; mental health well-being of children and community referral for the treatment of addiction amongst male and female children. 
  • Provide formal and non-formal education to help street children excel in life with improved self-esteem and self-concept. 
  • Develop a manual for facilitating sensitisation and behaviour change of all stakeholders dealing with abused children or children undergoing drug addiction. 
  • Training for community police and the legal fraternity including police officers, magistrates and child protection officers to enhance their capacity to manage rescued children, recognise their mental health issues and treat them with empathy. 
  • Raise awareness of child abuse and delays in justice systems through social media channels. 

What we are doing

The project is working for the improvement of mental health of 60 street children through activities such as sports, recreation and art therapy. Furthermore, community outreach is taking place through community counselling sessions for mothers and children on mental health promotion and addiction prevention.

The project is also providing training to 150 police officers, magistrates and child protection officers to promote empathy, mental health, education and effective communication skills to promote an understanding of the trauma of street children.  

Latest news

  • Blogs

    Healing Karachi’s invisible scars

    Save Our Children 1 (3)
  • Blogs

    Mental health: Supporting schools and students

    Shutterstock 413265469
  • News & events

    The British Asian Trust and the Mir Khalil ur Rahman Foundation sign MOU for upcoming mental health campaign

    Milkar MOU Signing (5)
  • News & events

    The importance of ethical principles for mental health professionals

    Pakistan Mental Health Workshop May 2023
  • Case studies

    Mental health: Abrar’s story

    Mental Health (1)
  • Blogs

    A rare prize

  • Case studies

    Mental health: Mahmuda’s story

    Mental Health Bangladesh Mahmuda
  • Case studies

    Mental health: Madiha's story

    Mental Health Artwork
  • Case studies

    Mental health: Talal’s story

    Mental Health (3)
  • News & events

    Roundtable discussion: Strengthening mental health in Pakistan

  • Blogs

    It’s time teachers prioritise mental health

    It’S Time Teachers Prioritise Mental Health
  • News & events

    Mahira Khan visits British Asian Trust’s mental health project in Karachi

    Mahira Khan Visits British Asian Trust’S Mental Health Project In Karachi (2)
  • Case studies

    Mental health: Rehmat's story

  • Blogs

    Bringing Peace of Mind

    Bringing Peace Of Mind
  • Gallery

    Iftar at JW Marriott Grosvenor House London

    April 2022