Doha: In October 2020, the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH), in collaboration with Hamad Medical Corporation, Primary Health Care Corporation, Sidra Medicine, Naufar and the Qatar Red Crescent, launched a mental health awareness campaign and well-being, “Are You OK? aimed at encouraging people to speak more openly about their emotional well-being. As part of World Mental Health Day 2021 activities, the Ministry of Public Health and health partners are launching a national awareness campaign.
Building on the success of last year’s campaign, this year, “Are you okay? The campaign is a collaboration with participating organizations across Qatar that aims to encourage everyone to speak more openly about our mental health. By asking a parent, friend or colleague, “Are you okay?” And putting it the right way can help start a conversation with someone we care about and who may have a hard time talking openly about their struggles.
Dr Kholoud Al Mutawa, Head of the Noncommunicable Diseases Section at the Ministry of Public Health, said: “The ministry has paid great attention to promoting mental health for all segments of society, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic because of the impact it has had on the mental health of the population. Therefore, the Ministry of Public Health in collaboration with its health partners has launched many interventions to reduce the negative impact of the pandemic.
She also added: The ‘Do You Agree’ campaign is primarily aimed at attracting and engaging as many community members to fight stigma and talk about their mental health as this is the first step. to increase awareness of how to deal with the pressures of daily life and avoid anxiety and stress, as well as how to interact with others and make the right decisions.
“The past year has been very successful and attitudes towards mental health are changing in a positive way. We are building on this success and health partners across the health system are working with more than 20 organizations across Qatar to involve them in this campaign to raise even more awareness, ”said Mr. Mahmoud Al Raisi, chairman of the national working group. for Mental Health and Wellness and Continuing Care Group Leader at HMC.
“Each month, on a fixed day, this network of organizations will share standard information, videos or educational material, highlighting a key message about mental health and well-being on social media. With more than 20 organizations participating in this initiative, these messages will reach a significant number of people in Qatar, ”explained Al Raisi.
National Health Strategy 2018-2022 Responsible for Mental Health and Wellbeing, Iain Tulley said this initiative represents an important aspect of Qatar’s Mental Health Strategy and National Health Strategy 2018-2022: “Our strategic plans for mental health and wellness aim to help reduce stigma, improve access and integrate care. Providing easy access to confidential and stigma-free services is essential to improving the health and well-being of our population. The campaign is designed to encourage people who are facing a period of personal difficulty and in need of emotional support, to seek help quickly, to improve and accelerate the recovery of good health.
Dr Samya Al Abdulla, Deputy National Manager for Mental Health and Wellness and Executive Director of Operations at PHCC, said: “It is wonderful to have the support of so many organizations across the country. This initiative is a perfect example of intersectoral collaboration, with organizations from many sectors outside of health, each playing their part in raising awareness of mental health and well-being. Mental health is everyone’s business and I congratulate and thank all of our partner organizations for supporting this campaign and helping to create an environment where mental health is talked about as openly as physical health.
In recent years, the health sector has significantly expanded its services and improved access to mental health services, enabling it to meet the growing demand for mental health support and bring services closer to people’s homes.
“With fear of stigma being a key factor in preventing many people from seeking help with psychological distress, the launch of the mental health helpline in April 2020 was one of the most impactful developments. in recent years, ”explained Dr Majid Al Abdulla. , president of the mental health department of HMC.
“Since its launch, the confidential helpline has handled more than 35,000 calls and the launch of virtual mental health consultations throughout the health system has also enabled better access to care, allowing more people to benefit from psychological support. In November 2020, we also created a virtual women’s mental health service to focus specifically on the mental health needs of women who come to mental health services for the first time. This new service has become an important part of our virtual mental health services, with users reporting very high satisfaction rates, ”added Dr Al Abdulla.
For more information on “Are you okay? Campaign and to see a list of collaborating organizations, visit https://sehanafsia.moph.gov.qa