New volunteer mental health support group Widyan Qatar launched

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Widyan Qatar, a volunteer mental health support group, has officially launched on World Mental Health Day, 10th October 2021.

Founded by Mr. Nasser Al-Naama, Widyan Qatar (translated as ‘valleys’), comprises a range of volunteers with the aim to raise awareness, improve access to mental health care and destigmatize outdated stereotypes of mental health in Qatar. As part of World Mental Health Day 2021, the group has collaborated with other similar organizations and the Ministry of Public Health for the national mental health campaign ‘Are you OK?’.

Image Credit: Widyan Qatar

As Mr. Al-Naama says, “People are silently ashamed to seek treatment given the associated stigma. Over the years, I have been open with my own struggle with chronic depression. Widyan Qatar hopes to drive needed change in society such as public discussions surrounding mental health to remove negative perceptions of mental health. Widyan Qatar is non-judgmental, safe space where everyone is accepted for who they are”.

As Mr. Al-Naama explains, “Since the breakout of Covid19, mental health disorders have increased significantly. In fact, 1 in 5 people suffer with a mental health issue such as depression or anxiety. This has drained the efforts of healthcare workers which is why it is vital to raise awareness to improve services. I invite everyone to put their hand in ours; to bring change and share their suggestions to help the development of this field. We want our communities to come together so we can reach the largest number of people. Together, we can formulate ideas to improve mental health support so that our citizens, families and children will have a brighter future”.

Source and cover image credit: Press Release