Desperation can push a person of any background to end their lives, and residents of Qatar are no exception, an official at the Social Rehabilitation Center (Al Aween) has said.
Speaking at a lecture ahead of World Suicide Prevention Day, which is tomorrow, Sept. 10, Mamoun Mobayyad, consultant psychiatrist and Al Aween program manager, said more could be done here to reduce suicides.
Raising awareness of the problem is the first step. The center is hosting a bike ride to mark the suicide prevention day tomorrow at Aspire Park. Anyone 16 years older and above can register for the event at 4pm, in the area between Villaggio and Aspire Lake. Bikes will be provided for the tour, which goes from 4:30pm to 5pm.
Other suggestions by Mobayyad included:
- Training medical staff on mental health issues to better assist patients with depression or mental disorders;
- Training imams, teachers, parents and family counseling centers that manage divorce cases;
- Setting up a hotline to help those at the edge;
- Scheduling follow-up sessions with patients treated for depression to evaluate psychological state;
- Keeping hazardous and dead substances away from suicidal patients; and
- Strengthening family and social ties.
Suicide is not discussed often in Qatar. Though the country’s comprehensive National Development Strategy acknowledges social problems like domestic violence and depression, there is no mention of suicide.
Last year, ahead of the annual suicide prevention day, Dr. Suhaila Ghaloum, a consultant psychiatrist in Doha, urged the country to keep better records of people who kill themselves.
Until 2010, there was not a single recorded case of a Qatari committing suicide, she said. She added that the highest recorded rate is among Nepali construction workers.
Credit: Photo by woodfaery