More and more people are talking about mental wellness in the workplace and the importance of psychological well-being in relation to overall health. In recognition, the theme of this year’s World Mental Health Day, observed annually on 10 October, was ‘Mental Health in the Workplace’.

According to World Health Organisation (WHO), depression and anxiety disorders can have an impact on a person’s ability to work, and work productively. The WHO says employers and managers who establish workplace initiatives that promote mental wellness and support employees who have mental disorders see gains not only in the health of their employees but also in their productivity.

The world health body states that, globally, more than 300 million people live with depression, a leading cause of disability. More than 260 million are living with anxiety disorders, and many of these people live with both.

Workplace stress can result in habitual absence from work and going to work despite being unwell leads to higher rates of accidents and injuries. There are many contributing factors in the workplace that can lead to stress, burnout, and depression. These include poor work organisation, excessive workload, conflicting roles, job insecurity, lack of support from higher management, and ineffective communication.

Dr Majid Al Abdulla, Deputy Chair of Psychiatry at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) Mental Health Services, said that our mental health is affected by social, biological and psychological factors. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, according to Dr Al Abdulla, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.

Mental illness is not something to be embarrassed about or seen as a hopeless situation. In many cases, mental health problems can go away and many people recover completely. Learning about various coping techniques can help individuals deal with stress which can often impact on a person’s mental well-being.’

Iain Tulley, Mental Health Services CEO, recommends that organisations, especially large ones with many employees, consider introducing some form of an employee support programme that can provide assistance through prevention and early intervention for employees affected by stress and emotional and mental health problems.

Keeping well is very important, but in times of need, we encourage seeking professional help as soon as possible. The first contact should be with a primary healthcare physician.’

Dr Al Abdulla added that at HMC, there is a broad spectrum of services on offer under its Mental Health Services, which cover all age range.

The HMC Mental Health Services can be accessed in a number of ways including referral from within HMC, and primary health care and private clinics. Children and adolescents can be referred by a doctor, counselor or school representative to the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service. Healthcare professionals interested to learn more about best practice in mental health can attend the 6th Qatar International Mental Health Conference, on 30 November to 2 December 2017 at the Hilton Hotel in Doha.

For more information, visit the HMC website at