A group of young Qataris have climbed Mount Elbrus in Russia, Europe’s highest mountain at 5,600m of altitude to raise awareness about mental health and wellbeing.
In line with the Qatar National Mental Health Strategy, the National Mental Health Programme fully supported the initiative and provided appropriate awareness messages which was displayed when the group reached the summit of the mountain.
Sheikh Dr Mohammed bin Hamad al-Thani, director of the Public Health Department at the Ministry of Public Health welcomed the youth initiative and said, "The high spirit and challenge of the young climbers and their enthusiasm to deliver noble messages are a source of pride for us all. They reflect the determination and ability of Qatari youth to achieve success, and they are a model for youth”.
“Their passion and commitment to such cause is heart-warming and exemplary. The group has demonstrated their support in raising awareness about this important issue,” noted, Susan Clelland, acting executive director of the National Mental Health Programme.
On behalf of the group, Aisha al-Naama said, “We are a group of friends from different backgrounds. Some of us are related and the rest of us have met through our love of sports and physical activity. Elbrus is a beautiful Mountain that offers opportunities for people with different technical and physical levels. It makes a difficult yet achievable mental and physical challenge.”
“We care to live active and healthy lives and attempt to act as ambassadors for this lifestyle, seizing any opportunity to display that being active is easy and fun as well as highlighting the many benefits we thrive to inspire. Mental health is a topic that concerns everyone. Having a frequent physical activity has immediate benefits to our mental health. We believe in healthy mind is in a healthy body,” she added.
The group members consisting of nine Qataris are: Aisha Ahmad al-Naama, Aisha Khalid al-Naama, Mohamed Khalid al-Naama, Dana al-Mannai, Maryam al-Thani, Ali al-Mulla, Khalid al-Ajmi, Fahad Badar, Abdullah al-Jabri, and one Qatari resident,Pierre Daniel.
The group members are passionate about raising awareness and plan to use the climb as a platform to attract the public’s attention to the importance of mental health and wellbeing, reducing the stigma and negative judgement associated with mental illness.