TV actor par excellence Roohi Bano, who ruled the hearts of drama fans for years for her incredible performances in the early years of the state television channel, is no more. She was 68 when she died following renal failure at a hospital in Istanbul, with her sister and a nephew by her side. She is survived by her sister, extended family members, and countless fans who will continue to remember her timeless performances. Her roles in ‘Qila Kahani’, ‘Hairatkada’, ‘Zard Gulab’, ‘Darwaza’, and ‘Kiran Kahani’, refuse to lose their appeal among performing arts lovers. That is the beauty of art, which makes people’s lives and memories refreshing and gives them a purpose to reflect on their lives and society.Away from the TV screen, Roohi’s life was a bumpy ride, including an attempt on her life. However, a tragedy that changed her life for the worse was the cold-blooded murder of only son Ali, in 2005. She couldn’t fully recover from the shock of losing her son. The incident took a heavy toll on her health, especially her mental wellbeing. However, her mental health issues had not grown overnight. Her colleagues of the 70s and 80s have recalled that she would often suffer prolonged fits of rage and laughter at work, and in personal life but the limelight of her glamour, fame, and persona did not allow her or her family members to take the symptoms seriously. Herself a psychology graduate from the Government College University, Lahore, Roohi remained unable to read her symptoms to move to treatment in a timely manner.While Roohi’s death is a loss for the TV drama industry, the suffering during her life must also serve as a reminder to the authorities of the need for a well-functioning mental health infrastructure in the society. Coincidentally, this January has been marked as the month to raise awareness about mental health issues across the country by the Pakistan Association for Mental Health. However, the events held for the purpose have remained far from media glare and government’s interest. According to the association, 20 percent of the Pakistani population is suffering from mental health issues. The need of the hour is to accept this reality and come up with measures for a stress-free environment and more treatment facilities.Some mental health issues are the byproduct of stress factors, while many are linked to genetic and physical causes. With just 75 in-patient facilities, the enormity of the figures demands more such clinics across the country. Roohi Bano was buried in Turkey. Though, her sister wants to bring her body back to Lahore to bury her next to the grave of her son. She has appealed to the government to help the family pay for the air transport. That’s a cost the state must readily incur to honour the memory of the legendary actor. *Published in Daily Times, January 29th 2019.