Doha, 07 October 2010: In conjunctions with events organized to support the World Mental Health Day on 10th of October, Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) will hold a special awareness campaign at Hamad General Hospital (HGH) and three Public Health Centers (PHCs) in Qatar.
HMC’s Psychiatry Department has collaborated with the Social Rehabilitation Center Al Owain, Family Consulting Center and Weil Cornell Medical College-Qatar (WCMC-Q) to conduct the awareness campaign and seminar for the public to be able to come in and ask questions about any topic concerning mental health.
“This is the first time we are teaming-up with other organizations to highlight the importance of mental health and to give the issue a national perspective and priority. As part of the events a special seminar on mental health will be held at WCMC-Q for their students to learn more about the issues surrounding mental health and the challenges of providing treatment. Qatar TV will also host doctors from HMC for a special one hour talk show on mental health issues as we believe it is essential for everyone to know that mental health covers a diverse range of disorders,” said Dr Suhaila Ghuloum, Chairperson of Psychiatry Department at Rumailah hospital.
The awareness campaign this year will focus on people visiting PHCs. They will be informed about the various mental health services available at HMC. The medical staff from the psychiatry department will be there to offer information and advice and deal with many of the misconceptions, apprehensions and stigma associated with this field. Special information booklets on mental health and well being will also be distributed to the visitors at HGH and PHCs.
“The awareness campaign to be held at HGH and Rayyan, West Bay and Airport PHCs will have special stands to exhibit the beautiful artifacts prepared by mental health patients. The stands will have psychiatrists, psychologists, occupational therapists amongst others who can explain some of the conditions and how treatment can help many patients and their families,” Dr Suhaila stated.
The seminar at WCMC-Q will focus on the epidemiology of mental health in Qatar, its management and the stigma prevalent in the Eastern world regarding mental illness. Speakers from HMC psychiatry department, WCMC-Q, Family Consulting Center and private psychiatrists will deliberate on the challenges for the future of mental health education and treatment in Qatar.
Speaking on some of the most common mental health illnesses being treated at the psychiatry department, Dr. Suhaila said,” The common cases are of schizophrenia, mood disorders, and depression among adults. In children we have found attention deficit, hyperactivity and phobias to be more common.”
Presently the out patient section at the psychiatry department sees 70-120 patients every day. The in-patient section has 63 beds for both male and female patients. The department also runs an addiction clinic once a week. The children psychiatry clinic is open twice a week. Apart from extending mental health services through day care and home care, the psychiatry department has also recently launched a dedicated 24hrs mental health hotline. The new hotline number, # 66912020, is aimed at giving access to mental health information and guidance to people who want to know more about the mental health services at HMCHMC  and support for themselves or for their family members.