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Integrated mental health service at Al Thumama Health Center from Feb 19

Tribune News Network
The Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) has launched ‘Integrated Mental Health Service’, a new community service starting at Al Thumama Health Center on February 19, as a pilot project that will be gradually available at other health centres.
The project comes as an integrated collaborative work among several governmental entities under the ‘Better Together’ initiative.
This also serves one of the aims of the National Health Strategy that the primary care in Qatar must provide 20 percent of the mental health services currently provided in hospitals by 2020.
The new service aims to provide full mental health services such as diagnosing and preparing full treatment plans and follow-up plans for patients who were referred earlier to Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Psychiatry Hospital.
The service features integrated mental care and improved patient experience and clinical results. It will lead to a reduced appointment waiting time in secondary care.
The service will accept internal referrals from Al Thumama, Airport, Umm Ghuwailina, Al Wakra, and Mesaimeer health centres in the initial stage.
Research conducted worldwide during the past 30 years indicates there is a huge increase of mental health issues among children and youth groups such as anxiety, depression, eating disorder and self-harm.
Over 70 percent of children and youth are suffering from mental health issues because of lack of medical intervention at early age.
PHCC focuses on providing this service via 27 health centres covering all demographic distribution in Qatar. PHCC provide integrated non-urgent mental health services to patients with light to medium mental health cases.
PHCC is always keen on providing a patient-focused service. Therefore, PHCC provided training for over 500 of its clinical staff and 1,800 nurses during the past periods to have full awareness and clinical proficiency to identify and diagnose symptoms and manage the common mental issues such as anxiety depression and mental health diseases.
PHCC also launched its ‘Support Clinic’ in five health centres at Leabaib, Rawdat Al Khail, Al Thumama, Al Wajbah and Qatar University. This was achieved by a collaborative work among several community entities under the ‘Better Together’ initiative.
The mental health services at health centres ‘Support Clinic’ include the early diagnose and clinical checkup via skilled and highly trained physicians who identify and evaluate the level of mental cases between light to medium, and all physicians can identify the common mental health symptoms and provide consultations for it and even make required internal referrals to the Support Clinics and issue prescriptions.
It is worth mentioning that PHCC recorded 332,444 patients visits in 2018 compared with 18,633 in 2017. This number included 180,094 females (54%) and 152,350 males (46%).