- Colonel Muhannadi: "Qatar Believes in the right of the mentally ill to protection against exploitation";
- Fuad: "Civil Society has a pivotal role in promoting legal developments";
- Dr. Muhannadi: "The social stigma associated with frequenting a Health Care Center, prevents patients from seeking psychiatric help";
- Dr. Sehaila: "Transferring the mentally ill from police clinics to determine penal responsibility."
On the first day of the Forum on "The Right to Psychotherapy-Assessment & Investigation, organized by the National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) at Sharq Hotel which opened yesterday (Tuesday, 4th September 2007), there was consensus among the elite group of Arab Human Rights experts and psychiatrists participating in the forum that all society groups have a right to psychotherapy guaranteed by international conventions and laws; and that services designated to the mentally ill have to be socially channeled through medical care centers on the general practitioner level-a step that is designed to minimize the unfounded social stigma associated with frequenting mental health institutions.
The forum is expected to conclude today (Wednesday, 5th September 2007), the second and final day of the forum’s deliberations which will have covered research papers presented by 13 psychiatrists and human rights experts. The forum will conclude by endorsing a number of recommendations aimed at consolidating the rights of the mentally ill in all social domains.
The deliberations opened yesterday with colonel Hamad Ben Ahmad al-Muhannadi, NHRC member, stressing that the forum has its roots in the solid conviction that the mentally ill have a right to be protected against exploitation in all its forms-economical, sexual, physical or other abusive actions.
For his part, Mr. Mohammad Fuad, Human Rights expert and consultant with NHRC, who chaired the opening session, explained that the NHRC has sought the help of a number of experts and specialists who readily cooperated with it in handling the complaints filed with it. He added that the deliberations at the forum will further push developments in the legal and procedural activities of NHRC.
Meanwhile, Dr. Hassan Ibrahim al-Muhannadi, the deputy chairman of the permanent Housing Committee, presented a research paper on "Psychiatric care in the light of human development in Qatar" in which he tackled factors obstructing concerned parties from seeking psychiatric help when they need it. He also emphasized the lack of qualified personnel and well equipped facilities in this regard. He particularly stressed the universal role of globalization in adding to stress and other Psychiatric disorders, the world over.
He numerated a number of new social problems emerging in Qatar as a result of the quick pace of change in the country resulting in part in a transformation of family relations from those associated with the extended family to those related to the nuclear family where the group (family) now has to deal with problems such as divorce the rising age of marriage amongst both males and females.
Dr. Sehaila Ghuloum, the acting chairperson of the psychiatry department meanwhile presented a research paper on Current Psychiatric Care in Qatar with focus on the relationship between psychiatric clinics in the ministries of interior and defense on one hand and the clinic at Hamad Medical centre, on the other adding in this regard that a patient is referred to HMC by the other two clinics so as to determine penal responsibility.
The deliberations which have witnessed valuable interjections from Dr. Saltut of HMC, Dr. Eman al-Saeed, Sister Manal, Dr. Muneera al-Rumeihi, of Qatar University, and Dr. Hassan al-Jufairy focused on the need to develop psychiatry so as to cope with the growing needs of the local population with special stress on orienting societies to accept that mental disorders are as common a phenomenon as any other disease.