Promoting Mental Health Awareness in the Workplace
Ministry of Public Health
In line with the Qatar National Mental Health Strategy, and the Ministry of Public Health 'Healthy Workplace Program', the National Mental Health Program (NMHP) have provided a series of mental health awareness workshops for promoting and managing mental health and wellbeing in the workplace.
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Training sessions have been delivered in Arabic and English to over 1000 clinical and non-clinical staff groups drawn from a wide range of government and non-government organizations. The programs have included "Mental Health and Wellbeing Awareness at Work", "Mental Health and Wellbeing at Work Champions" and "Managing Mental Health at Work".
Training sessions have been ongoing for the last 4 years and have provided participants with introductory knowledge about mental health and provided tools and techniques to support resilience in the workplace. The training covers topics such as: wellbeing in the workplace; positive psychology and the science of happiness as well as maintaining mental wellbeing at work and reducing stress. It also provides information on how and where to access services and support in Qatar.
Dr Mohammed Hamad Al-Thani, Director of Public Health Department, at the Ministry of Public Health, explained the importance of employers engaging in constructive dialogue with employees: "Increasingly there is a realization that any well-functioning society depends on a healthy workforce, and therefore protecting our employees' mental health is fundamental to establishing a cohesive and productive society. We encourage all employers to consider how they can support mental health and wellbeing within their organization and engage in dialogue with their staff."
In addition Susan Clelland, Acting Executive Director of the National Mental Health Program, said, "There are a number of risk and protective factors attached to our mental health and wellbeing. Knowing these can help us maintain our mental health and wellbeing at work. In order to maintain a healthy work/life balance the training addresses workplace factors such as anxiety and stress. People often worry that if they talk about stress they will be seen as weak or not capable of doing their job. However, stress is not a weakness and it is very common for people to experience stress at work. Speaking up early about stress provides the opportunity to prevent it from becoming worse which is helpful for the both individual employee and their workplace."
She added, "If you are concerned about the impact stress is having on your physical or mental health, it is important to ask for professional help and support. There are a number of trained mental health professionals and counsellors working in public and private organizations including in Primary Health Care Centers and Hamad Medical Corporation's Mental Health Service."
The Ministry of Public Health would encourage organizations to engage in proactive efforts to raise awareness about mental health and wellbeing in their workplace. If your organization would like to find out more about the mental health training resources available, you can contact the National Mental Health Program (firstname.lastname@example.org) based at the Ministry of Public Health.