Mental Health Emergency Centres Operational in 190 Cities

Social emergency centres have been established across 190 cities, said Habibollah Masoudi-Farid, the deputy head of the State Welfare Organization (SWO).

He said that according to studies, 50% of mental disorders start before the age of 14 and 75% start under the age of 24.

Masoudi-Farid added that at least 10% of funds allocated to the health sector should be earmarked for mental health.

He also called for establishing social assistance units in schools to prevent the spread of mental disorders. Schools are the best places for tracking mental disorder in individuals, he said, adding that life skills and social communication should be taught in schools.

The State Welfare Organization has established social emergency centres to provide social services, while mental crisis management centres are also operating nationwide. Many specialists and social workers are employed by social emergency centres.

Those who want to report cases of social disorders, including spousal and child abuse, violence, runaway girls, women and street children, can dial 123. Experts at social emergency centres also offer phone consultations and can attend scenes of violence or abuse.