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Mental Health Care in Saudi Arabia: Past, Present and Future

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DOI: 10.4236/ojpsych.2014.42016    7,145 Downloads   10,992 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

We review the past, present and future state of mental health care in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). The past is reviewed prior to the modern era, discussing early explanations and treatments for mental health illness up through the establishment of the first mental hospital in the 1950s, tracking advances in mental health care over the past 60 years. The present is explored in terms of the current need for mental health care based on the prevalence of mental health problems in KSA. We also discuss the role of the family in caring for the needs of the mentally ill today. Finally, we look forward into the future, discuss the current education system that will produce the next generation of mental health professionals, examine areas of mental health care that need improvement, and provide a research agenda to guide the continued development of the mental health care system in KSA. Our goal is to present a blue print for the development of a state-of-the-art mental health that may serve as a model for other countries in the Middle East, while taking into account the political, cultural and religious factors that are unique to this region of the world.

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Koenig, H. , Al Zaben, F. , Sehlo, M. , Khalifa, D. , Al Ahwal, M. , Qureshi, N. and Al-Habeeb, A. (2014) Mental Health Care in Saudi Arabia: Past, Present and Future. Open Journal of Psychiatry, 4, 113-130. doi: 10.4236/ojpsych.2014.42016.

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