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£200K commitment to reducing mental health stigma

by Lisa Carr

Mental health becomes the focus of the CareTech Foundation’s latest donation as it confirms a £200,000 commitment to the British Asian Trust to match equivalent funds raised for this work, including those raised at the glittering Iftar annual event during the month of Ramadan.

Hosted by the British Asian Trust, a recent Iftar celebration event at the JW Marriott Grosvenor House London raised donations as part of the Trust’s Peace of Mind campaign to support mental health provision and raise awareness of mental health issues in Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Founded by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, the British Asian Trust is a strategic partner to the CareTech Foundation and specialise in, and champion the use of, social finance products to drive positive change.

Building on the good work of the CareTech Foundation, along with the COSARAF Foundation, already achieved during a three-year programme to transform mental health services in Pakistan, attendees came together during the high-profile event to raise funds that will go towards continued provision and access to mental health services for thousands across Pakistan.

CareTech Foundation CEO, Jonathan Freeman MBE, says “£25,000 alone will keep a support centre open for a year giving 10 children accommodation counseling, detox and rehabilitation to help them create long term changes in their lives and mental wellbeing. Knowing this donation will support the longevity of integrated mental health services is very satisfying to know. Already the British Asian Trust has successfully reached 1.5 million, we couldn’t be happier knowing that that work will continue to develop in the hope of reaching more people.”

Every year, the British Asian Trust hosts an Iftar event during Ramadan to raise vital funds and awareness that will transform lives. The Peace of Mind campaign aims to break the cycle of stigma and silence around mental health and raise funds to provide more access to support services for those who really need it in Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Mental health problems affect one in every four people in Pakistan – over 50 million people. However, there are less than 400 psychiatrists in the country – one for every 125,000 people affected. This represents a huge cost, not only to individual lives and their families, but also to the national economy and future prosperity.

Almost 90% of people in need of support don’t have access to treatment services. CareTech’s support has helped change this for people like Asiya, a 30 year-old Pakistani woman whose son accidentally drowned. The family blamed Asiya and her depression spiralled out of control. The mental health support she received was a lifeline.

Photo shows coming together to raise money for the the British Asian Trust Peace of Mind campaign to support mental health provision in Pakistan and Bangladesh.

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