The levels of mental health awareness in Qatar are relatively low and many misconceptions exist around the causes of mental health issues and the capabilities of people with a mental illness.
Due to the low levels of awareness mental illness is very often misunderstood and is frequently surrounded by negative attitudes. This creates stigma and can cause individuals and their families to suffer in silence, preventing them from seeking the necessary help they may need. The impact on family relationships and community life can also be greatly affected.
We therefore need to encourage a positive, open dialogue about mental health issues in Qatar and drive forward major change in people’s attitudes. Mental illness should be seen just like any other physical condition that requires treatment and support.
Providing people with positive messages about mental illness and raising people’s awareness through education and information is critical to supporting a better understanding of mental illness and reducing its impact. Raising public awareness about mental health will dispel misconceptions and encourage positive attitudes about mental health.
By reducing the stigma associated with mental illness we can build a responsive community that understands mental health and creates a society where people can actively seek help and support without fear of stigma or discrimination.
Raising awareness is important for the whole community but particularly important for those that are most likely to come into contact with people experiencing mental health issues. We want to build a community where people can identify the signs and symptoms of common mental illnesses early and support people to access the right care, at the right time and in the right place.