Ministry and partners observe World Mental Health Day
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) and key partners have observed World Mental Health Day.
The MoPH hosted an event 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 to raise awareness about mental health and well-being.
HE the Assistant Minister of Health Affairs Dr Salih Ali alMarri said he was proud of the efforts of the young climbers and the important issues they are promoting around physical and mental health.
Sheikh Dr Mohamed al-Thani, director, public health department at the MoPH, said: “Over the past years, 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.”
He also 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.
Susan Clelland, acting executive director of the National Mental Health Programme at the MoPH, highlighted the importance of the community coming together to change at- titudes about mental health and mental illness.
She said, “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.
Prof Mohamed Waqar Azeem, chair of the Department of Psychiatry – Sidra Medicine, explained that social media has a significant impact on the mental health of individuals. He reviewed some of the statistics on the development of mental health services in Qatar, noting the distinguished services in this field provided by Sidra Medicine.
Maryam al-Thani, member of the Qatari youth team who climbed Mount Elbrus, noted: “Climbing and finding active communities in Qatar have 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.
“It is a great initiative that the Ministry of Public Health has participated in 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 antibullying. The winning students were announced and Dr Hamda al-Muhannadi, student counselling consultant at the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, presented them with certificates and gifts.
The MoPH, in collaboration with Qatar National Library (QNL), organised activities and games for the public hosted by QNL yesterday. 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, and gratitude and appreciation, in addition to laughter yoga help us relax.
HE Dr Salih Ali al-Marri and Sheikh Dr Mohamed al-Thani with some of the youngsters who climbed Mount Elbrus.