Scientific Assembly at KFSH&RC to Discuss the National Mental Health Study Results






A Scientific and Academic Assembly was held at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre (KFSH&RC)- Riyadh, to discuss the results of the Saudi National Mental Health Study as one of the key national programs sponsored by King Salman Centre for Disability Research. 


His Excellency Dr. Majid Al-Fayyadh, Chief Executive Officer of KFSH&RC, welcomed the attendees and stressed the importance of such research and national scientific studies that set a roadmap for developing strategic plans to deliver the highest level of health care services.


In the final results, the research study showed that 34% of Saudi males and females have experienced a mental disorder at some point in their lives, while 40% of the Saudi young population have also experienced a mental disorder at some point in their lives. According to the Study, Depression Disorder is prevalent among females (8.9%), compared to (3.1 %) among males. The prevalence percentage of Bipolar Disorder among males is (4%) compared to (2.7%) among females.


The three-years study indicated that the most prevalent psychiatric condition in KSA is the Separation Anxiety Disorder (11.9%), followed by Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (7.9%), followed by Major Depressive Disorder in the third place (6%).


The Study targeted 4004 males and females aged between 15-65 as a typical sample of Saudi males and females from across the Kingdom using (CIDI 3.0) survey tool, developed by Harvard University for the Global Mental Health Survey that was further enhanced by a Saudi team of certified psychiatrists and translators, and reviewed by a group of mental health experts for accuracy and compliance with scientific methods.


Dr. Yasmin Altwaijri, Head of Epidemiology Department at KFSH&RC, a Visiting Professor at Harvard Medical School and a Senior Researcher in the Saudi National Mental Health Program, said that the highest and latest standards of quality control were followed during the study, indicating that the project received special recognition from the University of Michigan for successful application of all quality control methods in a unique manner that passed international standards.


The Saudi National Mental Health Program is supported by several sectors such as, the Ministry of Health, King Saud University, KFSH&RC and the General Authority for Statistics in addition to international collaboration with the World Health Organization, Harvard University and the University of Michigan. The program was also supported by multiple grants from SABIC, King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology and Abraaj Company. 


It is worth mentioning that the Scientific Assembly was connected, via video conference, to Dr. Ronald Kessler from Harvard University and Dr. Zeina Mneimneh from the University of Michigan, and it was attended by a group of Researchers, Scientists and Psychologists from different health sectors.