14 Apr 2018 – 10:13

MoPH promotes mental health awareness in workplace

The Peninsula

DOHA: In line with the Qatar National Mental Health Strategy, and the Ministry of Public Health ‘Healthy Workplace Program’, the National Mental Health Program (NMHP) have conducted a series of mental health awareness workshops for promoting and managing mental health and well-being in the workplace.

Training sessions were delivered in Arabic and English to over 1000 clinical and non-clinical staff groups drawn from a wide range of government and non-government organisations. The programs included “Mental Health and Wellbeing Awareness at Work”, “Mental Health and Wellbeing at Work Champions” and “Managing Mental Health at Work”.

Training sessions have been ongoing for the last four years and have provided participants with introductory knowledge about mental health and provided tools and techniques to support resilience in the workplace.

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The training covers topics such as: well-being in the workplace; positive psychology and the science of happiness as well as maintaining mental well-being at work and reducing stress. It also provides information on how and where to access services and support in Qatar.

Dr Mohammed Hamad Al Thani, Director of Public Health Department, at the Ministry of Public Health, explained the importance of employers engaging in constructive dialogue with employees: “Increasingly there is a realisation that any well-functioning society depends on a healthy workforce, and therefore protecting our employees’ mental health is fundamental to establishing a cohesive and productive society. We encourage all employers to consider how they can support mental health and well-being within their organisation and engage in dialogue with their staff”.

In addition Susan Clelland, Acting Executive Director of the National Mental Health Program, said, “There are a number of risk and protective factors attached to our mental health and well-being. Knowing these can help us maintain our mental health and well-being at work. In order to maintain a healthy work/life balance the training addresses workplace factors such as anxiety and stress.”

“People often worry that if they talk about stress they will be seen as weak or not capable of doing their job. However, stress is not a weakness and it is very common for people to experience stress at work. Speaking up early about stress provides the opportunity to prevent it from becoming worse which is helpful for the both individual employee and their workplace,” said Clelland.

The Ministry of Public Health would encourage organisations to engage in proactive efforts to raise awareness about mental health and wellbeing in their workplace.