Mental health is still a very misunderstood and emotive topic for many people. The truth is many of us have experience of or know someone who has a mental health issue. So why is it still a subject that is not talked about openly despite its prevalence in society?
According to The World Health Organisation, more than 300 million people globally suffer from depression. The link between mental health stigma and discrimination is a strong one.
Dubai and the UAE is populated by people from all over the world who have many differing opinions relating to mental health. Culture plays an important role in how we see mental illness and can be a barrier in seeking out help and support for young people and their families.
We know that people who experience mental health issues can feel isolated from friends, family and peers. If it is a young person who is affected, then school can feel like a very scary place and they may well avoid attending. Often loved ones are not aware of how to best support a young person with mental health issues.
Parenting or family support can be invaluable for everyone joining up with the individual work with the young person. Early intervention according to the UK Government paper Every Child Matters (2003) is vital. It highlights the need to ensure that they receive the care and support needed as early as possible, keeping young people safe and protected, and the importance of a multi-disciplinary team to support the young person and their carers.
Stigma and discrimination can also affect education, finding a job and long-term relationships. Sadly, many people think that having a mental illness makes a person violent or aggressive which is often a stereotype that is commonly perpetuated by the media. The truth is that the person affected is more likely to be attacked by another person or harm themselves rather than someone else.
If you broke your arm or had a physical illness such as diabetes you would see a specialist, right? It should be the same for your mental health.
Medcare Hospitals and Medical Clinics and Camali Clinic Child and Adult Mental Health are coming together today to commemorate World Mental Health Day to help everyone understand what mental health is, break down the barriers and challenge the misconceptions. Camali Clinic is a specialist child and adult mental health service in Dubai and Abu Dhabi offering evidence based multi-disciplinary care. The research is clear that people respond to friendly and open environments and staff – which is what we hope our teams have created.