UC-Q researcher leads key mental health study
May 31 2017 11:07 PM
Dr Vahe Kehyayan
Dr Vahe Kehyayan

The impact of mental disorders on the health of Qatar’s citizens and residents is the subject of a significant research study led by University of Calgary in Qatar ( UC-Q) researcher, assistant Prof Dr Vahe Kehyayan.
The study will examine attitudes toward mental illness and its treatment among patients, their families, and doctors and nurses in the health system.
“Everyone knows someone who is living with a mental illness,” says Dr Kehyayan.
“A recent study has suggested that 25% of people in Qatar have a mental illness; so these are our families and friends – everyone is touched in some way by this.”
This proposed project has several benefits to Qatar including contributing to its strategies to improve the health and well being of Qatar’s population and increasing its human capacity for conducting scientific research.
It will also raise awareness of mental illness and its adverse consequences in Qatar society.
Dr Kehyayan pointed out that studies in other parts of the world indicate that the stigma associated with mental illness can prevent people from seeking effective medical treatment.
Mental illness can also have an impact on other areas of health, including increased risks around smoking, reduced activity, poor diet, obesity, and blood pressure.
However, very little research on the stigma of mental illness has been done in the Middle East, and this study aims to improve understanding of the issue in Qatar and in the region.
“The University of Calgary in Qatar is always pleased to be involved in research that supports the goals of Qatar,” said Dr Deborah White, dean and CEO of UCQ.
“This study supports objectives outlined in Qatar’s Mental Health Strategy along with the National Research Strategy and the National Health Strategy. This study will be a big help in identifying the impact of mental illness on the community and begin to identify ways to reducing stigma.”

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