The World Health Organisation says no fewer than 2.2 million Afghans are believed to be suffering from depressive and anxiety disorders.
The WHO in a statement published on Monday, said the estimates only, but “actual figures are likely to be much higher,”
WHO country director Richard Peeperkorn is quoted as saying: “no accurate data is available on the number of those affected by mental health issues.”
Recent WHO estimates show that more than one million Afghans suffer from depression while over 1.2 million suffer from anxiety disorders, the statement reads.
The world body said there are still very few psychologists or therapists for mental health patients in Afghanistan, one of the poorest countries in the world affected by nearly four decades of war and civil war.
According to Public Health Minister Ferozuddin Feroz, Afghanistan has trained over 700 psychological counselors and 101 mental health doctors, 300 of whom are currently working in government-run health centres.
“There is an urgent need for increased investment towards supporting mental health interventions in Afghanistan,” Peeperkorn added. (NAN)