Posted on May 02, 2018

The Department of Public Health at Qatar University College of Health Sciences (QU-CHS) recently organized a seminar titled “Social Relations under the Blockade: Effects on Family Mental Health and Wellbeing”. 

The event aimed to highlight the influence of the blockade on family relationships and mental health and wellbeing. It is part of the series of events organized by QU to highlight the influence of the blockade from the legal, social, and economic perspectives. Attendees included CHS Dean and QU Biomedical Research Center Director Prof. Asma Al-Thani and representatives from the Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC), Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), QU Social and Economic Survey Research Institute (SESRI), Doha International Family Institute (DIFI), and Family Consulting Center (WIFAQ).  

The event’s program included two sessions. The first session was about social implications of the blockade and the challenges families went through during the blockade and the second session reflected on the mental health implications of the blockade and the influence of the blockade on QU students. Presentations were delivered by SESRI Senior Research Assistant Ms. Noof Abdulhadi Al-Rakeb, DIFI Senior Lead Research Dr. Azza Abdelmoneium, WIFAQ Executive Director Mr. Rashid Ahmed Al-Dosari, HMC Senior Consultant Psychiatrist Dr. Suhaila Ghuloum, and Senior Student Counselor/Health Psychologist at QU Student Counseling Center Ms. Tayseer Aljeeli. The event was concluded with an interactive session moderated by Lecturer at CHS Department of Public Health and the event’s organizer Dr. Ghadir Al-Jayyousi, in which guest speakers addressed audience and students’ questions.

Prof. Asma Al-Thani noted that the Qatari government put great efforts to handle the impact of the blockade and to control its effects on people and normal life. She also highlighted how QU addressed this challenge through all of its colleges and academic specialties. She said: “In line with QU’s initiative to address the blockade imposed on the State of Qatar from various perspectives, CHS organized numerous events and activities highlighting the impact of the blockade on the mental, physical and environmental health. This seminar serves to highlight the effects of the blockade on family mental health, which is the nucleus of the society, and to underline the response of the health, counseling, academic, and service sectors in the country.”

The seminar came up with the following recommendations:

  1. Conduct more research on the influence of the blockade from different perspectives.
  2. Emphasizing the role of primary health care in providing mental health services for individuals and families affected by the blockade.
  3. Coordination among organizations to deal with the different types of crisis resulted from the blockade.
  4. The organization of more events and research to reflect on the positive impact of the blockade on individuals and families.