“With Mashal’s help, Amina fights mental illness and smiles at life once more”

For Amina Ghulam, a 22 year old, life took a turn for the worse with a solitary negative remark. The feeling of being unwanted exhumed her underlying psychological issues. She had a history of mental health issues, but till now they had been minor, and were kept under wraps. As the condition worsened, her aggression, anger and violent behavior deeply disturbed her family. “They resorted to beating. They knew no other way. They could not understand what was going on inside me, and to be honest, neither could I,” she says. For Amina, that point in life seemed like a dead end, and a normal life seemed a distant dream.

Fate had it that a relative of Amina suggested she get in touch with the team of, Mashal, The Aman Foundation’s mental health initiative. Engaging with Mashal proved to be a life altering experience for her. Six months later, a much more stable and coherent Amina shares the story herself.

“Six months ago my life had no direction and I had no dreams. Mashal not only provided counseling to me, but also worked on raising awareness among my family members. They are now more empathetic towards me and their support is helping me recover,” Amina adds.

For families like Amina’s, not just the social stigma attached to mental health issues, but also the steep cost of psychiatric treatment or psychological therapy, keeps them in denial. Treatment seems too far-fetched an idea and most patients continue to suffer in silence.