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World Mental Health Day : Young Arabs say getting quality mental healthcare is difficult

World Mental Health Day : Young Arabs say getting quality mental healthcare is difficult

With World Mental Health Day is observed on October 10, findings from the 12th Annual ASDA’A BCW Arab Youth Survey highlight the study of young Arabs on the lack of a way to quality mental healthcare in the region, and the call for states to advance in knowledge and knowledge campaigns and make quality mental health care more affordable.

According to this year’s findings, nearly two-in-five (38 per cent) of young Arabs say they know someone mental health issues, contrasted to 31 per cent of Arab youth surveyed in 2019.

A majority (56 per cent) of Arab youth also say it is hard to get quality medical care for mental health issues in their country. Young Palestinians (85 per cent), Yemenis (80 per cent), and Syrians (77 per cent) are most likely to say that good mental health care is difficult to access. Moreover, approximately half (48 per cent) of Arab youth say seeking medical care for mental health issues is seen negatively by most people in their country. With the social shame connected with exploring mental health care being highest in Morocco (76 per cent), Lebanon (72 per cent) and Libya (70 per cent).

The 2020 ASDA’A BCW Arab Youth Survey includes 4,000 meetings with young Arab nationals aged 18 to 24 from 17 Arab states in MENA with a 50:50 male-female split, and was finished in two parts: The first Main Survey was carried out between January 19 and March 3, 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic fully struck the region, and the second, COVID-19 Pulse Survey, between August 18 and 26, 2020. The issues on mental health were asked as part of the main survey.

Sunil John, President – Middle East of BCW and Founder of ASDA’A BCW, said: “Last year, for the first time our survey shed awareness on the topic of mental health, an issue that had not been widely discussed in the region. With the World Economic Forum highlighting that the economic cost associated with mental illness is the largest of any health issue and set to reach US$ 6 trillion per year by 2030 globally, timely access to quality mental healthcare is of critical importance. Yet, as our survey shows this year, the region does not appear to have made much progress in addressing this issue.”