Mental health information in Pashto


Preface by Professor Khalid A. Mufti, Ibadat Hospital, Peshawar, Pakistan

"In the Pashtun areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan, the majority of the population speak Pashto, with a few understanding the English language. They have little information about mental health. If they see any abnormal behaviour among family members or friends, they blame goblins (Jin) and black magic. This is particular true in the war affected tribal areas bordering these two countries.

I strongly believe in the importance of public education in mental health in order to open a window for Pashtuns in Afghanistan and Pakistan and help reduce the stigma of mental illness, and to find ways to seek appropriate help and manage mental health problems.

I realise, from my personal experiences but also from my research, that in Pashtun areas mental illness is taboo. People prefer not to talk about and they have no information on mental illnesses.

I am grateful to Dr Faridah Hoad Saifi's efforts in helping in the translation of a small selection of topics from the Royal College of Psychiatrists' mental health information. These translation were verified by the 'Syndicate of Writers Pakistan' which is a literary organisation affiliated to Horizon NGO. Dr Faridha has a history of promoting health awareness through radio, press and documentaries."

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November 2014