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Sunday, October 24, 2021

Qatar makes push to improve diagnosis, treatment of depression

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Qatar officials are increasing training for doctors in government-funded primary care clinics to help them identify symptoms of mental health problems in their patients, allowing them to be diagnosed and treated early on in their illness.

The push by the Primary Healthcare Corporation (PHCC) comes ahead of World Mental Health Day on Oct. 10.

Dr. Fatema Musa, Head of the PHCC’s Mental Health Program, said that the condition often goes untreated among patients in Qatar.

“Many people experiencing mental health issues in Qatar are not being detected…

Our plan is that the majority of people are managed in primary healthcare, especially those with mild to moderate conditions such as depression and anxiety.”

Depression is becoming increasingly common in Qatar, affecting both nationals and expats.

It’s estimated that about 18 percent of Qatar’s population has had depression at some point, a significantly higher tally than the US at 9 percent, and the UK at 12 percent.

The country’s younger residents are particularly at risk. Earlier this year, a study found that a quarter of all teenagers in Qatar were depressed, and last month, a senior psychiatrist at Hamad Medical Corporation said that stressful situations at work are putting Qatar’s young workforce at a high risk of depression.

According to the UK’s Mental Health Foundation, symptoms of depression include a depressed mood, loss of interest, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, low energy, and poor concentration.

As part of its awareness campaign, the Supreme Council of Health (SCH) has announced that it is launching “a series of activities that will bring mental health to the fore of the health agenda for Qatar.” But specific details of potential changes to mental health services have yet to be announced.

Thoughts?

Credit: Photo for illustrative purposes only by Urbanewomenmag

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