PHCC lays emphasis on mental health for the important role it plays in the lives of individuals and society and its contribution in the development of productivity and performance, and improvement of the economy. This is in addition to the great impact it has on the lives of members of society as a whole, and its ability to help them live a happy life and enable them to reach their full potential, adapt to life’s challenges and changes, be able to give with dedication and effectiveness, and contribute to the development of their society.
Dr. Sabry Adam Edrees, Clinical Psychologist at the Mental Support Clinic at Qatar University Health Center at PHCC, stressed that mental health is affected by many factors, including physical factors, such as hormones, health condition, and genetics, social factors, such as poverty, epidemics, wars, and level of education, as well as mental factors, such as personality types, ways of thinking, IQ, coping skills, etc.
Dr. Edrees also noted that mental health as a concept is not limited to mental illness only, emphasizing that it is concerned with many other aspects such as self-confidence, achievement, motivation, setting goals, quality of life, psychological well-being, emotional balance, academic/professional performance, ability to form good social relationships, in addition to the quality of players’, international champions’, professionals’, and artists' performance. These are all the aspects that mental health deals with and which development in schools, factories, institutions, and sports clubs helps in the advancement of societies.
The clinical psychologist further explained that among the most important aspects of mental health are emotional balance, social and family harmony, and a good state of psychological functions, such as the ability to focus, remember, make decisions, solve problems, plan for life, adapt to life pressures, and enjoy life.
Pointing out mental health imbalances, Dr Edress listed social withdrawal, isolation, lack of self-confidence, moodiness, irritability, low professional and academic performance, loss of motivation for life, and denial as an indication of the presence of a mental illness.
He also demonstrated that mild degrees of mental health imbalance are known as mental problems, not illness, and failure to solve such problems may aggravate them and lead to mental disorder.
Furthermore, Dr. Edress added that mental disorder has specific criteria, conditions, and certain degrees of imbalance, and can be diagnosed by specialists only. Stressing that mental disorders affects a person’s life, mental disorders is nevertheless are very common according to World Health Organization.
Dr. Edrees warned against many misconceptions on mental illnesses, such as that mental illness cannot be cured, or that medications used to treat mental illnesses cause addiction, or ascribe genetics as the sole cause of mental problems, or assume that a psychiatric patient does not necessarily understand what is happening around him, does not recognize things, cannot work, or marry or have responsibilities.
He also explained that some people with mental problems outperform mentally stable people in intelligence, treating people well, and in their sense of responsibility.
Touching up stigmatizing a person with mental illness or his family, Dr. Edress stated that fearing mentally-ill people, and believing that they will not succeed in their life are among the wrong behaviors people display as there are many scholars, successful people, and leaders who have experienced a problem or mental illness at some point, but have received help, succeeded in their lives, and benefited their societies.
Dr. Edrees stressed that mental illnesses can be treated, and people can even live with chronic mental illnesses as they live with chronic physical diseases, but the patient or their family may not succeed in adhering to treatment or finding effective treatment as they do not search for it or they search for it in the wrong place.
Urging people to find a stable family atmosphere and balanced education to achieve good mental health, in addition to maintaining balance in our healthy, mental, and social life, Dr. Edrees identifies the following habits as ways to improve and maintain one’s mental stability: sleeping well, exercising, staying within a good social network, following a healthy diet, practicing hobbies, filling leisure time, avoiding isolation, overcoming negative thinking, accepting life’s challenges, setting realistic goals, avoiding toxic positivity, and avoiding negative ways to cope with stress, such as smoking, social withdrawal, etc.
At last, Dr. Edrees warned against reluctance to have a consultation when we notice any indication of an imbalance in our mental health or the mental health of those around us, stressing that there are many specialists in public and private health institutions who can tell whether we really need to intervene or not, and can help us arrange our thoughts and explain problems using special tools. They can also help us solve problems before they aggravate using scientific and easy ways in specialized clinics.