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Ministry of Public Health and Partners Celebrate World Mental Health Day 2018

Publication Date:
13 October 2018 
Primary News

The Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) and key partners celebrated World Mental Health Day 2018.

MOPH hosted an event at the MOPH to engage in this year’s theme: “Young People and Mental Health in a Changing world”. A series of short presentations were given, including specific talks on mental health services available in Qatar and the Impact of Social Media on Mental Health and Wellbeing. The event also hosted a group of local young people, who recently climbed Mount Elbrus in Russia, Europe’s highest mountain at 5,600m of altitude to raise awareness about mental health and wellbeing.

Dr Salih Ali Al-Marri, Assistant Minister Health Affairs MOPH stated how proud he is with the efforts of the young climbers and the important issues they are promoting around Physical and Mental Health. 

Sheikh Dr. Mohamed Al Thani – Director of Public Health Department at MOPH: Over the past years, the State of Qatar has been able to improve the mental health of the population through the efforts of the Ministry of Public Health and its partners in the health sector. The Public Health Director outlined the importance of increasing awareness about mental health and reducing stigma-surrounding mental illness. He highlighted some of the issues children and young people are experiencing today, such as bullying, gaming addiction and how we can support the community to manage these issues in the changing world.

Ms. Susan Clelland, Acting Executive Director, National Mental Health Program, MOPH whose team organized the event highlighted the importance of the community coming together to change attitudes about mental health and mental illness. She stated, “Success of these events is testimony to country’s commitment to lead the way in promoting mental health and wellbeing in Qatar and having the collaboration of key stakeholders to reach the wider public.” 

Dr. Sadriya Al-Kohji, National Lead for Healthy Children and Adolescents of The National Health Strategy 2018 – 2022 identified the Mental Health Services provided by the Primary Health Care Corporation.

Professor Muhammed Waqar Azeem, Chair of Department of Psychiatry - Sidra Medicine, explained that social media have a significant impact on the mental health of individuals. He reviewed some of the statistics on the development of mental health services in the State of Qatar, noting the distinguished services in this field provided by Sidra Medical.

Maryam Al Thani who is a member of the Qatari Youth who climbed Elbrus, added: "Climbing and finding active communities in Qatar has been a driving force in nourishing my body and mind. I hope that individuals dealing with difficulties are able to reach out to friends and family or the ministry of Public Health to seek the support they need”.  And added "It is a great initiative that the Ministry of Public Health has participated in the World Mental Health Day and all the awareness that is being spread on the need for us to educate ourselves and others on active steps to be more physically and mentally resilient."

As part of marking World Mental Health Day, the Ministry of Education and Higher Education in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Health held a school poster competition in September to promote Anti-Bullying. The winning students were announced and Dr Hamda Al-Muhannadi Student Counselling Consultant MOEHE, presented them with certificates and gifts. 

The Ministry of Public Health in collaboration with Qatar National Library, organized activities and games for the public hosted by the Qatar National Library on Saturday 13th October. The activities were based on the Wheel of Wellbeing (WOW) framework, founded on Positive Psychology, which promotes physical activities and healthy nutrition, social connections with people, looking after the environment, gratitude and appreciation; in addition to laughter yoga help us relax. Information resources and tips for mental wellbeing and details of services available in Qatar were shared with the attendees.

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