One in every five residents suffers mental problems

Illnesses like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia are widespread

One among every five UAE residents suffers from some sort of mental and psychological issues, UAE health officials have warned.

Speaking during the inauguration of the six month mental health Awareness Campaign jointly organised by Community Development Authority (CDA) and Dubai Health Authority, officials said that the number of such cases has been increasing over the years.

Dr Layla Abdulwahab Asamarai, Head of Psychology section at the Rashid Hospital, told Emirates 24|7 that various factors including work pressure, pattern of life, and a general lack of holistic lifestyle has contributed to the increase in mental health issues.

“This is not isolated to UAE alone. I am talking of an increase that is visible across the globe. We have to develop awareness and mechanisms that can reduce the problem,” she said.

The idea of the campaign is to educate the community about the concept of positive mental health and provide the necessary advice to maintain it.

“Mental illnesses like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia are widespread. One in every five people experiences a mental disorder in any given year,” said Khalid Al Kamda, Director general CDA.

Dr Alya Hamad bin Ghanem Al Merri, head of Psychiatry section at the Rashid Hospital, said as part of the community mental health program, “We began visiting patients in their homes from February 2010. Since then we have noticed a significant decrease in hospitalisation cases.”

The awareness campaign is part of the World Mental Health Day organised by the World Health Organisation on October 10.


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