The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility, today announced a three-year partnership with the prestigious British Asian Trust with an aim to further strengthen support for their mental health programme in Pakistan.
In doing so, the Pakistan cricket team has become the first cricket team to partner with a charity in this way, therefore, showcasing a new way of giving back and making a difference.
The British Asian Trust has been supporting mental health programmes in Pakistan since 2011 and scaled up this work substantially in 2018. It helps to transform the situation for people with mental health issues in Pakistan, working with local partners to develop services, train specialists, reduce stigma and change public perceptions.
According to the World Health Organisation statistics, 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 wellbeing.
PCB Managing Director, Wasim Khan, said:
We are delighted to be partnering with the British Asian Trust in what will be a ground breaking partnership. Driven by our values, we believe cricket has a huge role to play as both a catalyst for change and as a force for good. The work of the British Asian Trust within Pakistan has made a huge difference in supporting mental health and wellbeing amongst some of our most vulnerable people.
The partnership will shine a light on the issue of mental health in Pakistan, helping people understand there are services available to support individuals and families, and encouraging them to speak out and seek help.
The Pakistan cricket players and staff will also visit local projects in Pakistan so they can find out about the work being done in country as well as meeting with individuals and families affected by mental health issues.
The British Asian Trust galvanises the commitment and passion of the Pakistani diaspora to support their programmes in mental health, education and livelihoods. They have major projects working to provide jobs for women and young people.
The British Asian Trust works with the government, civil society and the private sector and invests in the best local partners to create lasting, meaningful change. Their work is spearheaded by an in-country team and is guided by the strategic insights and expertise of the Pakistan Advisory Council.
Wasim Khan added:
Mental health remains a taboo subject in Pakistan; having personally visited a mental health project in a poor area in Karachi, I have seen first-hand the difference that resources and skilled practitioners can make on the ground.
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.
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.
The funds raised at the dinner in London on 25 April will be spent on helping to build and expand on the great work already being done in places like Karachi. We look forward to building on this work for years to come.