HMC Psychiatry Department opens mental health service at Al Wakra Hospital; majority of patients suffer from depression
Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Psychiatry Department has formally opened a new mental health service at Al Wakra Hospital (AWH).
Dr. Mohammad Ali, Senior Consultant Psychiatrist leading the implementation at AWH said: “We started setting up our mental health service at AWH in January 2015 to serve the community in Al Wakra. The service, which provides consultation across departments to patients who may also have other existing conditions, is staffed by a multidisciplinary team consisting of a senior consultant psychiatrist, an old age consultant psychiatrist, a specialist psychiatrist, a clinical psychologist, a social worker, an occupational therapist and administrative staff.”
The bulk of the mental health team’s everyday duties include covering AWH’s Emergency Department on a 24/7 basis. The service also runs an outpatient clinic twice a week. “We see on average 200 patients per month across all medical specialties, and the most common referrals to our service involve patients with depression, but we see patients who are experiencing a range of mental illnesses which we are now able to assess and begin treatment for on location at AWH. All cases referred to our mental health service are assessed on the same day based on clinical priorities,” Dr. Ali said.
We see on average 200 patients per month across all medical specialties, and the most common referrals to our service involve patients with depression.
Dr. Ali emphasized that mental illness can occur for a number of reasons and can affect anyone regardless of social circumstances, age or gender, and that it can be treated just like any physical illness. The key is increasing early detection and support for patients, which is a focus of the Psychiatry Department as it develops its services, including plans to initiate specialized clinics for patients with irritable bowel syndrome, obese patients, and patients with other life-affecting conditions. These types of conditions are often linked to occurrences of anxiety or depression, which are both common and treatable mental illnesses.