Significant increase in mental health awareness in Qatar in recent years: MoPH survey
Qatar’s health sector has maintained a strong focus on mental health services over the years.
To ensure the well-being of the country’s population, the health authorities have intensified efforts to raise awareness on mental health issues while also creating more avenues for the public to seek professional mental health support.
Recognizing the impact of the ongoing pandemic, Qatar launched a dedicated helpline coupled with virtual mental health counseling services earlier this year.
Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) also carried out its ‘Qatar National Mental Health Attitudes and Awareness Survey 2020.’
According to the Ministry, the initial findings of the survey reveal that there’s been a significant increase in mental health awareness among Qatar’s citizens and residents.
This is the third of its kind survey the MoPH has conducted and is the largest representative survey of its kind in Qatar.
الاستبيان الوطني حول رأي ووعي الجمهور عن الصحة النفسية في دولة قطر لعام 2020— وزارة الصحة العامة (@MOPHQatar) October 28, 2020
Qatar National Mental Health Attitudes and Awareness Survey 2020 pic.twitter.com/1IWSseBTvF
The survey gathered data from 1,100 citizens and residents aged between 16 and 64.
Director of Public Health Department, MoPH, Sheikh Dr Mohamed Al Thani said, “The 2020 Qatar National Mental Health Attitudes and Awareness Survey plays an important role in monitoring the progress of the public health sector in achieving its strategic objectives and provides a diagnostic tool which tracks the effectiveness of mental health promotion and prevention initiatives across four key measures.”
The results of the survey help in understanding the “awareness, knowledge, and practice of mental health and well-being in the community,” Sheikh Dr Mohamed mentioned.
These findings will support the Ministry and its partners to come up with “better and more effective health services and communications and to enhance well-being, happiness, and overall health for the residents of Qatar,” the MoPH official added.
The complete findings of the survey will be available later in the year.
However, the initial results indicate that the level of awareness and understanding of mental health and well-being in the community has gone up in recent years.
In 2018, half of the adults surveyed (52 percent) claimed to be ‘moderately’ to ‘highly aware’ of mental health, compared to three-quarters of adults (77 percent) in 2020.
While stigma and discrimination are still the main issues the community deals with, there has been a positive shift toward more acceptance and compassion for people with mental illness.
Now, more people in the country are ready to speak about their mental health and are looking for ways to get support.
Earlier this month, MoPH together with Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC), Sidra Medicine and Naufar, launched a mental health awareness campaign under the theme ‘Are you OK?’
The campaign seeks to encourage people to communicate more openly about their mental health.
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