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Bangladesh: Schizophrenia and autism treatment, services, and societal attitudes


  • “Mental health care in Bangladesh is impeded by insufficient public facilities, staff, skilled professionals, and financial resources, and widespread stigma and discrimination. These limitations are underpinned by the absence of effective governance to formulate and implement mental health policy. Additionally, the stigma associated with mental illness has adverse effects on help-seeking behaviour; many people suffer in silence, while bearing social isolation and discrimination” 

M Tasdik Hasan & Graham Thornicroft “Mass media campaigns to reduce mental health stigma in Bangladesh” The Lancet Vol.5(8) P616, 1 August 2018, last accessed: 24 February 2023


  • “Based on our study, we present how the primary caretakers of children with autism face the stigma associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and how misogyny, economic apprehension, and misinformation generate this stigma. Drawing from a range of scholarly work in sociology and psychology, we demonstrate how those factors are rooted in the colonial history and contemporary social hierarchy of Bangladesh.”

Abdul Kawsaw Yushar et al. “We Need More Power to Stand Up: Designing to Combat Stigmatization of the Caregivers of Children with Autism in Urban Bangladesh” ICTD2020: Proceedings of the 2020 International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development, June 2020 Article No.: 15, Pages 1–12, last accessed: 24 February 2023


  • “All participants acknowledged that there is cultural stigma in varying amounts. 76% of our participants felt they are directly impacted by stigma in their ability to openly talk about autism while 24% felt there were some other kinds of stigma that denied them full access to social support. All of them stressed that autism should not be stigmatized; however, the effects of internalizing stigma were palpable. The intensity of internalized guilt, frustration from others’ judgments, and helplessness about the situation was clear from their responses. […]

Various misconceptions, unscientific and unfounded beliefs, and superstitions constitute a wide-spread stigma around autism. Religious beliefs intertwined in the cultural fabric also impact people’s perceptions in Bangladesh like many other LMICs in the world. For instance, based on a belief that the individual with autism is supposed to be closer to spirituality or God, some cultures do not prefer seeking interventions that can improve high functioning symptoms.”

Upol Ehsan “Confronting Autism in Urban Bangladesh: Unpacking Infrastructural and Cultural Challenges”, EAI Endorsed Transactions on Pervasive Health and Technology 2018, last accessed: 24 February