Qatar National Mental Health Strategy 2013-2018
Yesterday Supreme Council of Health (SCH) launched The Qatar National Mental Health Strategy 2013-2018, which is a 5 year strategy that aims to build and improve upon the mental helath system, as well as to change how mental illnesses are perceived in the country.
The sttrategy (‘Changing Minds, Changing Lives’) was launched under the patronage of the Minister of Public Health and SCH secretary general HE Abdullah bin Khalid al-Qahtani.
According to research conducted among 1,063 Qatari nationals, results showed that mental health issues are common and that one in five people will be affected by mental illness at any given point in time, as pointed out in the strategy.
In addition, major depressive disorder is the most burdensome disease in Qatar and three of the top five causes of disability are mental health issues. Mental health is said to be influenced by many factors and anyone can be affected, at any time.
The global median percentage of government health budget expenditure on mental health is 2.8 per cent. Current mental health expenditure in Qatar is yet to be quantified, although the 2011 Mental Health Atlas submission describes Hamad Medical Corporation Psychiatric Services (the major public health provider) as representing 1.95 per cent of the health budget.