Qatar’s first Guide to Mental Health Services has been launched during the 8th Qatar International Psychiatry and Mental Health Conference, by H E Dr Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari, Minister of Public Health.
The Guide has been developed by the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) in partnership with Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC), Sidra Medicine, and Naufar with the aim of making it easier for people to access mental health services in Qatar and helping them choose the right service for their needs.
H E Dr Al Kuwari said that the provision of mental health services has expanded in recent years.
“Qatar’s healthcare sector has undergone enormous growth throughout this decade and the expansion of mental health services has been an important part of this transformation. Qatar’s health system now offers a wide range of mental health services and it is vitally important that people understand how to access these services and can choose the right service for their individual needs. The launch of the new Guide provides a clear and concise resource for mental health services in Qatar,’’ said Dr Al Kuwari.
The publication of the Guide to Mental Health Services follows the launch last year by the MoPH of the three guides to healthcare services in Qatar, one each for children, adults, and the elderly. The Guides explain everything people need to know about accessing general healthcare services in Qatar.
Mahmoud Saleh Al Raisi, Chair of the National Taskforce for Mental Health and Well-being and HMC’s Chief of the Continuing Care Group, highlighted the importance of making people aware of how to seek help if they are struggling with mental health issues.
“The World Health Organization states that 1 in 4 people in the world will be affected by a mental health disorder at some point in their lives. One of the main challenges is the associated stigma, which often makes it difficult for people to talk openly and seek help. For this reason, it is essential that we make people aware of the services available to them and that they understand how to access these services,’’ said Al Raisi.
Iain Tulley, Qatar National Health Strategy 2018-2022 Lead for Mental Health and Well-being and CEO of HMC’s Mental Health Service, said the launch of the Guide highlights the system-wide approach to mental health services in Qatar.
A major focus of the recent expansion of mental health services in Qatar has been to deliver more services in the primary care setting, as Dr Samya Ahmad Al Abdulla, Deputy National Lead for Mental Health and Well-being and Executive Director of Operations PHCC, said, “In the past few years we have worked hard to expand the mental health services delivered at our primary health centers. The mental health services provided to women, children, and young adults in Qatar by Sidra Medicine are also detailed in the healthcare guides.
The most recent mental health facility to open in Qatar, Naufar, focuses on well-being with a particular emphasis on helping individuals overcome addiction and substance use disorders.
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