Expats can especially find themselves in need of extra help due to the lack of traditional support networks they may have back home. At the same time, awareness of mental health has grown in Qatar across all communities. There are now plenty of resources to help you or your family members during troubled times. Here is Doha Family’s guide to accessing mental health services in Qatar:
How to Qatar: Getting Mental Health Help
by Lisa Gay
- If you need immediate help, visit one of Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) emergency departments. For non-emergency consultations, call Hamad at 16000. Mental health professionals working in a variety of languages are available between 7 am and 10 pm daily.
- Hamad has the most comprehensive array of mental health services in Qatar. The care is subsidised for residents, but you will need to register for a Hamad medical card (see our guide online for more on that). That said, you can still access mental health treatment through Hamad without a card, but you will have to pay higher fees.
- To avail of Hamad’s mental health services, book an appointment at your assigned Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) by calling 107. At your appointment, a GP will make an assessment and refer you to the appropriate mental health services through the Hamad system.
- Alternatively, you can make a self-referral to Sidra Medicine. They have a robust range of perinatal mental health services. However, to access Sidra’s child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS), you will still need a referral from either a private health clinic, your assigned PHCC, or from a psychologist or nurse at your child’s school.
- If you have private insurance, you can access the mental health services of hospitals within your network. The offerings will not be as expansive as Hamad, but they will usually specialise in specific areas or therapeutic services. It should be noted that they, too, can make referrals to Hamad. Here’s a list of available services at popular private hospitals and clinics in Doha:
Al Ahli Hospital
Al Ahli offers a range of mental health services for people of all ages, as well as substance abuse help. Offerings include (but are not limited to):
- Adult services: depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders.
- Children’s services: autism, ADHD, behavioural problems, anxiety and mood disorders, phobias.
- Elderly services: dementia, mood disorders.
Doha Clinic Hospital
6611-6958 (Psychiatry Department)
Doha Clinic supports adults with various mental health disorders, including (but not limited to): depression, sleep disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), panic and anxiety disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
Dr Aju’s Clinic
This dedicated mental health clinic and counselling centre offers an extensive range of services, including (but not limited to): depression, anxiety and panic disorders, stress-related problems, marital counselling, ADHD (adults and children), childhood and adolescent mental health and behavioural problems, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, eating disorders, OCD, PTSD, addiction, emotional problems related to medical illness, and emotional problems as a result of a loved one’s mental or medical illness.
Dr Aju’s Clinic also provides a variety of psychometric assessments.
Dr Madhu Pahwa Clinic
This private clinic owned by Dr Madhu Pahwa is a popular choice for both locals and expats. She addresses a wide variety of psychiatric issues for both children and adults and offers medical and therapeutic solutions.
The International Medical Centre (IMC)
The psychology and counselling services at IMC encompass a wide variety of therapy options for adults and children. Key services include (but are not limited to): depression, anxiety, panic and stress disorders, marital problems, PTSD, grief and adjustment problems, sleep disorders, chronic pain/fatigue, OCD, anger management, self-harm, behavioural problems, eating disorders, and work-related issues.
Naseem Al Rabeeh Medical Care
The psychiatry division of Naseem Al Rabeeh provides mental health care for both children and adults as well as hypnotherapy to treat addiction, sleep disorders, eating disorders, and stress management. Offerings include (but are not limited to):
- Adult services: depression, anxiety and panic disorders, marriage counselling, OCD, stress disorders, PTSD, attention deficit and learning disorders.
- Children’s services: autism, ADHD, behavioural problems, social and emotional difficulties, family counselling, anxiety disorders, academic and other school-related problems.
Weyak (Mental Health Friends Association) is a platform dedicated to raising awareness about mental health in Qatar and holds lectures, workshops, and training programmes. They operate a free phone counselling service for the community that responds to psychological, behavioural, family and educational problems from 3 pm to 9 pm, Saturday through Wednesday.