The Third International Psychiatry Symposium is taking place from 6 to 8 December 2013.

Hosted by Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), the Symposium brings together internationally renowned speakers and local healthcare professionals to explore the importance of mental health disciplines, best practices and services in the region. Chair of the Symposium Organizing Committee and Senior Consultant Psychiatrist at HMC, Dr Suhaila Ghuloum, said:

It is a very exciting time for mental health services in Qatar. There are many activities on the horizon, including the upcoming launch of the Qatar National Mental Health Strategy, which will facilitate very positive changes. The Symposium is a good example of how HMC is investing in the education of its workforce to support the future of our expanding mental health services.’

The three day event, themed ‘Mental Health Best Services: Bridging the Gap’ will offer health professionals at HMC the opportunity to learn from international experts in the fields of psychiatry and psychology. This will encourage wider discussion among healthcare providers who do not specialise in this area and high level discussion between those that do. This will support the future development of related services in Qatar.

The event, which has been preceded by two very successful symposiums, is highly anticipated, particularly among the psychiatry workforce, who welcome the opportunity to share knowledge with experts from all over the world – many of whom are leaders in their field.

Awareness Program Coordinator for the Psychiatry Department at HMC, Dr Hany Shaltout, said:

The Psychiatry Department as a whole is looking forward to this year’s Symposium, not just because the previous events have been such a success, but because we know that this year’s is going to be even better. We are all excited about the myriad of experience and high-level discussion that will be available to us at this event. The quality of the discussions surrounding all of the planned topics means that it is our event of the year.’

As part of the three-day event which will cover a range of high priority topics, such as fighting the stigma associated with mental health, diagnosis, approaches to treatment and discussion around recovery, HMC healthcare professionals will also have the opportunity to present and discuss their own research as well as attend topical workshops.

Dr Ghuloum explains:

Around one in five people experience a mental illness during the span of their lives. Mental illness is a common health issue that may be experienced by anyone at any age and any social circumstances; understanding that is very important to giving and receiving care. In combination with investing in specialist education for healthcare professionals, as at the Symposium, HMC also focuses on raising awareness among the general public through events such as school education sessions and monthly open house activities.’

As the main provider of specialist healthcare in Qatar, HMC has a dedicated Psychiatry Department which provides treatment and support across the diversity and severity of mental illness in both inpatient, outpatient and community settings. In addition to treatment, raising awareness among patients, the general public and other health professionals, is a top priority for the Psychiatry Department.