The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) has reaffirmed its commitment to mental health wellbeing among its workforce to mark this year’s World Mental Health Day (WMHD), being observed Saturday.
Promoted by the World Health Organisation, WMHD is held on 10 October each year and aims to raise awareness of mental health issues and amplify efforts and programmes which support mental health wellbeing.
"For the SC, it’s an opportunity to illustrate its many longstanding mental health wellbeing initiatives and reaffirm the importance of hosting the FIFA World Cup – at a time when the mental health of many is being tested by the Covid-19 pandemic," according to an article on the SC website Friday.
SC secretary general Hassan al-Thawadi continues to be a strong advocate of mental health awareness and wellbeing.
He said: “We have always placed an emphasis on supporting the mental health of our staff and workforce, and have amplified these efforts during the Covid-19 pandemic. For many people, this period of time is particularly tough and brings unique challenges and stresses. We wanted to make sure they knew when and how to seek professional help, if they needed it.”
In response to increasing mental health stresses during the pandemic, the SC has built on its longstanding mental health initiatives to support its construction workers, collaborating closely with specialists at the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) and the Mental Health Service at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) to develop a Covid-19-specific mental health awareness campaign.
This effort revolved around the proactive distribution of information via different mediums, to educate staff and workers on the importance of maintaining mental health, tackling key issues including depression, anxiety, general wellbeing and the importance of staying active.
The contents of the campaign were translated into the eight main languages of the SC workforce, and distributed to more than 18,000 workers via a dedicated mobile app, SMS, WhatsApp, embassies representing large worker communities, and the wider worker community in Qatar.
"This year’s theme for WMHD – Mental Health for All, Greater Investment, Greater Access, Everyone, Everywhere – is a timely reminder to us all of the importance of prioritising mental health and well-being,” al-Thawadi noted.
Prior to the outbreak of the pandemic, the SC’s Workers’ Welfare Department forged a partnership with MoPH and HMC to develop a mental health pathway for SC workers.
Mahmoud Qutub, executive director of SC's Workers’ Welfare Department, spoke about the different ways that mental health has been central to their health and wellbeing efforts: “As part of our commitment to ensuring workers’ health and safety, in December 2019 we identified the need for a dedicated and secure channel to provide our workers with the mental health support they may need.
“We developed a comprehensive mental health pathway along with our partners, including targeted screenings and dedicated clinics providing free consultation and treatment for workers. This is a first-of-its-kind initiative for workers in Qatar, highlighting our continuous efforts in ensuring the welfare of our workers.”
Moving forward, al-Thawadi looks forward to the opportunity to celebrate all the sacrifices and efforts made by communities around the world in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“When the FIFA World Cup comes to Qatar, it will be an opportunity to rejoice in how the beautiful game can unite people from around the world. We are optimistic that by November 2022, we’ll be able to host a safe and secure event and welcome fans from every part of the world.”