Amna is a young, vibrant Pakistani psychologist who loves working with children:

psychology chose me, I did not choose it!“, says Amna when asked about why she decided to work in mental health.

Amna works with children aged 4-10 years, as well as their parents, teachers and others involved in school education: “I am passionate about making a positive impact on children, as I believe that at this age, emotional support is crucial to shaping their personalities and fostering leadership qualities in them”.

In her day-to-day job, Amna often comes across women in great distress – both mothers and female teachers suffering from anxiety and stress “due to societal and cultural beliefs that place a significant burden on them, and that affect their ability to juggle between what is expected of them as wives and mothers, and their dreams to pursue fulfilling, independent professional careers.”

Pakistani women and children are particularly vulnerable to mental health problems and face major obstacles in getting help, especially those living in remote, rural communities. Very often this stops them contributing to their communities, working, going to school, and living happy fulfilled lives.

Amna describes herself as “a staunch believer in the empowerment of women. Our innate strengths and abilities, especially the incredible responsibility of motherhood, exemplify our remarkable resilience and power. In the face of societal norms and trends, Pakistani women have consistently demonstrated their capacity to excel in any field they choose to pursue. I am particularly enthusiastic about the prospect of women flourishing as psychologists, psychiatrists, and mental health nurses, as these roles demand dedication and grit. I envision a future where women not only thrive in psychology but also in other professions, contributing to the well-being of our society as a whole.”

Amna is not only a sensitive psychologist, but an inspiration to many young women in a country where there is so much gender inequality; “I passionately believe that women and anyone, in general, can benefit from meaningful conversations and therapy. Conversations serve as a vital bridge that help individuals connect with one another, fostering a sense of belonging and lightening the emotional burdens they carry.”

Pakistan has one of the highest reported figures of suicide amongst Muslim countries in the world. A recent study suggests an alarming rise of suicides cases among children and teenagers*. Pakistan desperately needs more female mental health professionals like Amna.

Give now and help us to support and encourage more women to choose a career in mental health in Pakistan so that more communities have some one to turn to for help.

*Pakistan Journal of Medical Research, 2017 (October – December)

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