Min­istry and part­ners ob­serve World Men­tal Health Day

Gulf Times - - QATAR -

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.

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