HMC plans for ‘World Mental Health Day’

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The Hamad Medical Corporation will mark the world mental health day (WMHDAY), for the third time, in October, senior psychiatry department official has disclosed.

WMHDAY, which is being commemorated on October 10 every year, and held for a week in more than 100 countries, started some 60 years ago. WMHDAY raises public awareness about mental health issues and promotes more open discussion of illnesses and investments in prevention and treatment services.

According to the World Federation for Mental Health, the theme for the year is “Mental Health in Primary Care: Enhancing Treatment and Promoting Mental Health”.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics for 2002 show that 154mn people globally suffer from depression, only one form of mental illness.

Mental, neurological and behavioural disorders are common in all countries around the world, causing immense suffering and staggering economic and social costs, according to WHO.
People with disorders are often subjected to social isolation, poor quality of life and higher death rates. Though the actual dates of the week-long events were yet to be fixed in Qatar, preparations were in top gear to make the day a memorable one.

“We initiated this idea in 2007 in a move to join the world in marking the world mental health day in order to create awareness and draw attention to mental disability issues within the community,” Psychiatry department chairperson Dr Suhaila Ghuloum said.

Part of the activities earmarked for the events include a major exhibition at the Hamad Hospital which will showcase posters on mental health, brochures and leaflets distribution, awareness talks as well as counselling and guidance on how to cater to mentally disabled persons.
“Last year, apart from guest speakers, two patients volunteered to talk about their health problems and rehabilitation process, which has helped in reducing stigma and certain misconceptions attached to mental disability,” she elaborated.

Occupational health therapy and other skills being provided at the day care will also be available at the exhibition ground, she mentioned.

Dr Ghuloum added that television and radio talk shows aimed at creating awareness were also being planned.

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