A resource to support good mental health and wellbeing for the people of Qatar
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What is Mental Health?

Mental health is about the way we think, feel and behave and our ability to deal with everyday ups and downs. Good mental health is a sense of wellbeing, confidence and self-esteem that enables people to fully enjoy and participate in life.​

Having good mental health is not simply the absence of a mental illness; it is our ability to:

It is well known that good physical health is important for a full and happy life, but it is often overlooked that having good mental health is just as necessary. There are things everyone can do to maintain their mental health and wellbeing.

Our state of mental health does not always stay the same and it can change as our circumstances change. There are some risk factors that may make someone more vulnerable to experiencing a period of poor mental health, including physical illness, stress, unhealthy lifestyles and challenging life events. But sometimes there is no clear reason why we may find it difficult to cope at a particular time.

We all have times when we feel down or stressed or frightened and have worries about things we experience as part of everyday life. Most of the time these feelings pass, but sometimes they develop into more serious conditions and this could happen to any person at any point in their lives.

"I was having a hard time, struggling…everything in life affects mental health…"

The severity and duration of symptoms a person experiences and the impact it has on their life will indicate if it is the early signs of a mental health condition, requiring diagnosis and treatment from a trained health professional.

Some symptoms of mental health difficulties are described using words that are in everyday use, for example 'depressed' or 'anxious'. This can make them seem easier to understand, but can also mean people underestimate how serious and severe the symptoms can be.

"…With time, and with stress or any incident faced, it will get worse and more developed"

The majority of people who experience periods of poor mental health can learn to cope with them by using various strategies. This will help them to live with the symptoms and lead a satisfying life, especially if they get professional help early on.

What is Mental Illness?

Mental illness refers to a wide range of mental health conditions or disorders that affect our mood, thinking and behavior. 

Mental Illness is:

  • Treatable and can be managed just like physical illnesses
  • Something that can effect anyone, at any time (regardless of their gender, age, nationality, religion or social status)
  • Not a sign of weakness or something to be ashamed of
  • Not something people can "snap out of"
  • Possible to recover from  and people can live a meaningful life 

"Having a mental illness feels just as stressful as any other illness –

​Only other people can not see it."


Mental illnesses vary in severity and duration and affect people in different ways. Most people experience mild to moderate severity of symptoms related to mental illness. The effects of mental illness can be temporary or long lasting.


Although certain symptoms are common in specific mental health conditions, no two people behave in exactly the same way when they are unwell. This is why diagnosis by a trained health professional is so important. Some people may experience more than one mental health condition at the same time.


Research conducted in Qatar suggests mental health issues are common and that 1 in 5 people will be affected by mental illness at any given point in time.


The most common mental illnesses are:


Learn more about the signs and symptoms of Depression and Anxiety


Three of the six most burdensome diseases in Qatar are mental illnesses


Other mental health conditions include:

Mental illness can begin at any age, from childhood through later adult years, however most begin earlier in life.​ 

Although mental illness is common globally and locally – there is still stigma and shame associated with mental illness, as well as many myths about the reasons why people develop the illnesses. Many people who face mental health difficulties keep their feelings and symptoms hidden because they are afraid of other people's reactions. 

It is possible to recover from a mental illness, especially if a person seeks medical advice, treatment ​and support as early as possible.

“Mental illness is a health issue, just like any other illness. It is not a sign of weakness”​​