British Journal of Psychiatry “BJPsych”
The British Journal of Psychiatry (BJPsych), which is an internationally respected scientific journal specializing in the field of psychiatry, highlighted the achievements of the State of Qatar in the field of mental health care as a role model in the region.
In one of its articles for last January, the magazine dealt with some of the developments that have been achieved in the field of psychiatry in the State of Qatar after the issuance of the National Mental Health Strategy 2013-2018, which paved the way for providing more mental health services in cooperation with family doctors, as the article praised the leadership of the State Qatar is involved in this field through its enlightened vision and awareness of the importance of specialized care in community facilities.
She pointed to the extent of progress that has been achieved, which was demonstrated through the results of the survey conducted on the level of awareness and opinions of the public about mental health in the State of Qatar for the year 2020, as the results of the survey showed that 77 percent of adults in 2020 had a high level of awareness and awareness about health. Mental health, compared to only 52 percent who had an average level of awareness and knowledge about mental health in 2018.
The results of the survey also showed that more than half of adults (56 percent) now realize where they can access mental health and psychosocial support services in Qatar, compared to 46 percent in 2018. According to the results of the study, more adults expressed their comfort in talking openly about Mental health, as the percentage increased from 17 percent in 2015 to 21 percent in 2020.
The results also showed that mental health awareness efforts achieved remarkable success, as at least 56 percent of the people surveyed confirmed that they noticed health and mental health awareness messages, an increase almost three times the rate recorded in 2018, which was only 20 percent.
In the same context, the article indicated that there are encouraging signs in the Qatari media regarding awareness of the social stigma that people with mental disorders suffer from, as this information is based on a research study conducted by Dr. Khaled Al-Zamzami, Clinical Fellow in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at HMC And a number of his colleagues on mental health trends in the Qatari media.
By comparing local media reports on the subject of mental health with those related to physical health, the researchers supervising this study were able to conclude that the image with which the media in Qatar addresses the issue of mental health is more positive than is the case in many other countries around the world.
Ian Tully, Leader of Mental Health and Wellness Priority in the National Health Strategy and CEO of Mental Health Services at Hamad Medical Corporation, said that this international acclaim represents support for the methodology followed in the State of Qatar to develop mental health services.
He added, “The Qatar National Mental Health Strategy has been a pivotal factor in providing a roadmap for large-scale improvements in mental health services that were planned during our journey towards providing internationally approved best care practices. This includes providing more mental health services in community facilities and addressing the challenges resulting from Social stigma associated with mental illness. “
In turn, Dr. Majed Al-Abdullah, Head of the Department of Psychiatry and Medical Director of Mental Health Services at HMC, welcomed what was stated in the magazine / BJPsych / of praising the efforts of the State of Qatar to integrate mental health care into the primary health care system.
Dr. Al-Abdullah said, “We have worked closely with the Primary Health Care Corporation over the past years to ensure that family doctors are ready to provide early diagnosis and primary care to people with mild to moderate mental problems. In addition, we have established mental health clinics specialized in a number of Primary health care centers are jointly managed. These clinics aim to facilitate public access to mental health and psychological support services. “
He pointed out that during the past year another major achievement was achieved at the level of community care, which was the establishment of virtual clinics to provide consultations and the launch of the helpline for mental health services, explaining that although the Coronavirus / Covid-19 / pandemic was the motivation behind the launch of these Services, however, the very positive comments from the public about both services mean that “we will continue to provide both services as part of our commitment to facilitate access to our services and enhance the level of acceptance of these services among people who need help and psychological support.”
It is noteworthy that the National Helpline for Mental Health and Wellness Services has received more than 16,000 calls from members of the public and health care staff to request support and assistance, and that is within less than 10 months since its inception. This service was launched for the first time in April of 2020 to provide psychological counseling and remote support for people suffering from psychological distress and other psychological problems due to the Covid-19 pandemic.