IRD is committed to improving the lives of vulnerable communities by building a network that shares ideas and innovations to create global impact.

Our goal is to improve the access and quality of health services delivered to under-resourced areas in both rural and urban communities. Our team leverages process and technology innovations to address global health delivery gaps through the use of game-changing health market innovations.

Pakistan has among the highest rates of psychiatric morbidity in the world, with 66% of women reporting symptoms of depression, and 34% of the general population reporting both depression and anxiety (Mirza, 2004). Only 1 psychiatrist is available for every 500,000 people (WHO, 2011). Cultural attitudes and stigmatization is one of the biggest obstacles around mental health.

IRD aims to bridge the mental health delivery gap through new and innovative methods for promoting and providing mental health services to a population that would traditionally be excluded from utilizing these resources.
Summary of relevant work: 

IRD’s mental health program (Pursukoon Zindagi) is currently implementing multiple mental health projects within healthcare settings across, Pakistan

  1. Pursukoon Zindagi:
    In 2014, IRD launched the Pursukoon Zindagi (“Peaceful Life”) program which aims to increase access to mental health services in low-income settings by utilizing innovative community-based approaches. Initially, this program was implemented in 3 low-income communities in Karachi. Over 65 community members were trained in basic counseling skills to be able to screen and treat depression and anxiety through novel m-health approaches.
  2. Pursukoon Zindagi - Integrated Practice Units:
    IRD, in partnership with the Indus Health Network (IHN) and with support from the Harvard Medical School-Center for Global Health Delivery-Dubai has developed 6 Integrated Practice Units (IPUs) within existing public and private hospitals in Karachi, Pakistan to provide comprehensive health services for TB co-morbidities – Depression, Anxiety and Diabetes. The program provides a holistic approach to identify, treat and manage co-morbidities with the hope of strengthening TB treatment outcomes.
  3. Pursukoon Zindagi - Primary Care Clinic:
    In partnership with the Indus Health Network (IHN) the Pursukoon Zindagi program has integrated mental health services in IHN operated primary care clinics in Sindh and Punjab
  4. Pursukoon Zindagi - Integration:
    In partnership with IHN’s Global Health Directorate (GHD) mental health services are being integrated with GHD supported specialist care programs such as HIV, Diabetes, Hepatitis C, Lung Health and Club foot Surgery.
  5. Pursukoon Zindagi - STAR (Strengthening Ties Through Awareness Raising):
    With support from the British Asian Trust, the CareTech Foundation and Cosaraf, IRD has launched a community-based awareness-raising program for mental health. This program aims to engage community members and gate keepers of the community in a dialogue regarding mental health in an attempt to increase awareness and symptom recognition, reduce stigma, and improve access to care by bridging the gap between the community and the facility    
4th Floor, Woodcraft Building, Korangi Creek, Karachi, Pakistan
Key partners: 

Indus Hospital Network

  • Grand Challenges Canada
  • Harvard Medical School
  • British Asian Trust
  • CareTech Foundation
  • Cosaraf
  • Global Fund
Seeking collaboration with: 
Other organizations
Experts by experience/service users
Policy makers


Innovations and resources

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Developing Integrated Practice Units for Mental Health Services in Pakistan

Integration of Mental Health Services within existing healthcare programs in both public and private provider settings.
Communicable diseases (e.g. HIV/AIDS, TB)
Depression/anxiety/stress-related disorders
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Increasing Access to Integrated Mental Health Care: A Community-Based Approach, Utilizing mHealth

A mHealth screening platform to mass screen and provide counseling treatment to individuals with depression and/or anxiety through CMHWs.
Depression/anxiety/stress-related disorders