Initial findings from the ‘Qatar National Mental Health Attitudes and Awareness Survey 2020’ released by the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) show a significant increase in awareness of mental health among Qatar’s population.
The survey, the third carried out by MoPH, is the largest representative survey of its kind in Qatar and involved the collection of data from 1,100 citizens and residents of Qatar aged between 16 and 64.
“The 2020 Qatar National Mental Health Attitudes and Awareness Survey plays an important role in monitoring the progress of the public health sector in achieving its strategic objectives and provides a diagnostic tool which tracks the effectiveness of mental health promotion and prevention initiatives across four key measures,” said Sheikh Dr Mohamed al-Thani, director of Public Health Department, MoPH.
“The findings from the survey provide valuable insights into awareness, knowledge, and practice of mental health and well-being in the community.
"The understanding we gain though the survey will help us to develop better and more effective health services and communications and to enhance well-being, happiness, and overall health for the residents of Qatar,” added Sheikh Mohamed.
The full findings of the survey will be available later in the year.
Initial findings clearly show the level of awareness and understanding of mental health and well-being in the community has risen in recent years.
In 2018, half of the adults surveyed (52%) claimed to be ‘moderately’ to ‘highly aware’ of mental health, compared to three-quarters of adults (77%) in 2020.
Stigma and discrimination continue to be issues for the community. However there is a positive shift towards greater acceptance and compassion for people with mental illness.
People in Qatar are increasingly prepared to talk about mental health and are looking for ways to access help.
Susan Clelland, acting executive director, National Mental Health Programme who was the adviser on the survey noted, “MoPH and its healthcare partners have made significant progress in raising awareness of mental health and well-being in the community in recent years.
Providing people with positive messages about mental illness and raising people’s awareness through education and information is supporting a better understanding of mental illness and reducing its impact. One of the most important things we can do to improve mental health in Qatar is to keep highlighting this important topic and raising awareness so that people become more comfortable talking about it.
"This is why we recently launched a campaign under the theme ‘Are you OK?’ to encourage people to talk more openly about their emotional wellbeing.”
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