The situation we are facing with COVID-19 here in Qatar is unprecedented. The emergence of the virus has forced us to completely change many aspects of how we live our lives and with this change comes uncertainty.
Medical teams across Qatar’s healthcare system are working tirelessly to combat the spread of the virus and ensure anyone with COVID-19 receives the very best medical care to manage their physical symptoms.
However, it is important that people’s mental health is also prioritized at this time. Many people are understandably worried by the current situation and may feel frightened, confused, anxious, or low. The symptoms of conditions such as depression and anxiety can often go unseen, but the impact they can have on an individual must not be underestimated.
Even in normal circumstances, many of us will suffer some form of stress or psychological distress. But the emergence of COVID-19 and its impact on our lives can be a major cause of stress and anxiety. It is important to remember that these difficult times will pass, and life will return to normal.
If you are feeling stressed or anxious, the best thing to do is to talk to someone and seek help.
National Mental Health Helpline
|In collaboration with Ministry of Public Health and Primary Health Care Corporation, Mental Health Service in Hamad Medical Corporation have launched a new helpline to provide support for people experiencing mental health problems as a result of the current COVID-19 pandemic.
The helpline is staffed by a team of mental health professionals who can provide assessment and support to callers through four main categories: Children and parents, adults, older people and frontline healthcare workers.
The helpline aims to provide an easily-accessible support line for people in need of professional advice and care.
To access the helpline, which is available from 7am to 10pm every day, members of the public can telephone the toll free number, 16000.
- Call 16000
- Press 2 for English
- Press 3 for HMC Medical Services
- Press 1 for Medical Consultation
Mental health staff manning the helpline speak a range of languages and every effort will be made to enable callers to communicate in their language of choice, where possible.
Signs and symptoms of Mental Health Conditions
Noticing early changes in the way we think, act or feel or recognizing those changes in people close to us is important to ensure we all get the help and support we need to be healthy and happy.
Some common early ‘warning’ signs that a person is struggling with their mental health may include:
- Feeling irritable, stressed and teary
- Wanting to spend a lot of time alone and avoiding social situations
- Tiredness and exhaustion
- Finding it hard to relax or to concentrate
- Feeling sad or bad about ourselves
- Eating unhealthily and skipping meals
- Having poor sleep patterns or getting up later than usual
- Feeling hopeless and helpless
- Having thoughts of harming yourself
- Feeling worried, fearful, nervous or tense
- Physical symptoms such as sweating, trembling, dizziness or rapid heartbeat
- Maintain a balanced diet and keep active. Try to exercise at home if possible or go for a walk outside, but avoid exercising in groups of people.
- Maintain strong relationships with family and friends. Use mobile phones and computers to keep in contact with friends online to ensure you adhere to physical distancing guidelines.
- Practice good sleeping habits. Even if your normal routine has changed, try to go to bed and get up at set times.
- Learn ways to maintain a positive attitude. You may be unable to do many of your regular daily activities due to the current situation, but try having a positive attitude to this and focusing on taking up new hobbies or activities that you can do at home.
- Talk about your feelings with someone you trust. In this time of uncertainty it is understandable that you may feel worried, frightened, confused, anxious, or low. The best thing you can do is to speak to someone about how you feel. Try talking to a family member or friend, or if you prefer you can call the Mental Health helpline on 16000 to speak to a healthcare professional.