Posted on December 10, 2018

Dr. Vahe Kehyayan, PhD, a researcher and assistant professor at the University of Calgary in Qatar (UCQ), presented his research findings at the recent 7th Qatar International Mental Health Conference hosted by Hamad Medical Corporation.

In a presentation entitled, “Stigma towards Mental Disorders in Patients in Qatar,” Dr. Kehyayan shared the findings from this collaborative research that examined self-stigma in patients here in Qatar. “The issue of mental health is of great relevance to Qatar,” says Dr. Kehyayan. “Qatar’s National Health Strategy 2018–2022 includes mental health as one of its seven priority areas which underscores the importance of stigma reduction as a concern. I am very appreciative of the Qatar National Research Fund for backing this important study. UCQ is pleased to be leading research that supports the goals of Qatar.”

“Stigma associated with mental illness is a serious issue because it not only socially isolates the individual, but it also prevents them from seeking timely treatment,” explains Dr. Kehyayan. “The illness can have an impact on other areas of the individual’s health as well, such as increased risks around smoking, reduced activity, poor diet, obesity, and blood pressure. However, very little research on the stigma of mental illness has been conducted in the Middle East, and our study aims to improve understanding of the issue in Qatar and in the region.”

This study has several benefits to Qatar, including contributing to its strategies to improve the health and well-being of Qatar’s population. It also raises awareness in Qatar’s society of mental illness, and its adverse consequences. Findings from this study will inform the development of stigma reduction initiatives in Qatar. For more information, please visit: