Depressed reluctant to seek treatment due to inadequate health cover

Psychiatric care counselor Resha Erheim. (Supplied photo)
Updated 31 May 2018

Depressed reluctant to seek treatment due to inadequate health cover

  • UAE nationals are provided psychiatric care as part of government health packages provided to Emiratis, but for expatriates it is a different story. 
  • More could be done to help people suffering from depression and suicidal ideation, says Resha Erheim, a counselor at Lifeworks mental health counseling center, says Resha Erheim, a counselor at Lifeworks mental health counseling center.

DUBAI: More access to psychiatric help is needed across the region, say experts, as they warn a lack of health cover for patients with severe depression serves as a barrier to treatment — especially for those under extreme financial pressure. 

Dr. Haytham Shabayek, specialist in psychiatry at Medeor 24X7 Hospital, in Abu Dhabi, said while UAE nationals are provided psychiatric care as part of government health packages provided to Emiratis, for expatriates it is a different story. 

Although some expatriates have a higher band of insurance that covers the costs of psychiatric care, most employer insurance schemes do not offer the same level of cover.

“This is the key,” he said. “Psychiatric problems are not insured — this is the main problem — and psychiatric help can be very costly. One session with a psychiatrist alone can cost anywhere between 500 dirhams ($136) and 1,000 dirhams, and if you need to receive medication, as those with severe depression often do, you are looking at a course of medication costing from between 700 dirhams to 1,000 dirhams.”

It means for those suffering with suicidal thoughts because of external economic factors, there is nowhere to turn for the psychiatric help that they need.

“Decision-makers should try and make psychiatric consolation affordable, available and reachable for everyone because this is a real (barrier) against people seeking treatment. We are waiting to give people help until it is turns into a real emergency situation. So why don’t we have a system to make it affordable and reachable for all at the right stages? It will ultimately save money — and save lives.” 

Dr. Fabian Saarloos, a clinical and health care psychologist at the German Neuroscience Center, in Dubai Healthcare City, also said more access to treatment is needed while further prevention programs need to be implemented.

“Awareness that suicide is preventable should be promoted. Efforts to reduce access to lethal means and methods of self-harm should be promoted. Institutions need to be trained in the recognition and signalling, and most importantly, intervention when confronted with suicidal people, and a protocol should be set up. A suicide-prevention programs, as suggested by WHO, should be enacted and promoted.”

Resha Erheim, a counselor at Lifeworks mental health counselling center, agreed that more could be done to help people suffering from depression and suicidal ideation.

“The first step is de-stigmatizing mental health conditions through edu 

“Government bodies can offer support groups, financial assistance, workshops, resources that help address the issue.

“A suicide hotline with trained crisis intervention counsellors would be an important step to tackle this growing problem.”

 

 


Baby Talk: DIY Arts, Crafts to do with your baby at home

While the soft and plastic toys are always a popular play thing, it’s time to use your imagination and put your crafty best foot forward. (Shutterstock)
Updated 02 April 2020

Baby Talk: DIY Arts, Crafts to do with your baby at home

DUBAI: Play time is every baby’s favorite time of the day! Mothers around the world come up with their own play time activities that keep the baby engaged and spend energy. By 9-12 months your baby is more active and ready to discover new activities and games. These activities are not just for fun but also contribute to the sound development of a child. Sensory activities, or activities that engage specific senses of the baby, must be introduced from an early age. Motor skill development also comes in use and practice when engaging in certain activities. So while the soft and plastic toys are always a popular play thing, it’s time to use your imagination and put your crafty best foot forward!

  •  Homemade organic paints: Prepare natural paints at home that are devoid of chemicals and any substance that can cause harm to your baby. Finger painting with homemade paint can be a great and exciting activity for both baby and mother. The painted sheets of paper can be cut out into different shapes and turned into hangings, laminated and used as table mats, framed as a picture and various other possibilities!
  • Make Music: While empty tins and vessels can be great musical instruments on their own, you could add tiny pebbles or grains in a bottle to make it even more fun! Make sure the pebbles are sealed in safely to prevent any choking hazard.
(Shutterstock)
  • Soap bubbles: Soap bubbles fascinate one and all! The children can have an extremely fun time bursting or just looking at you creating bubbles out of nowhere! Prepare the soap solution at home so there are no harmful chemicals around your baby using a gentle no tears formulated product.
  • Create Assorted baskets: Also known as discovery baskets, this is a simple way to introduce new textures and shapes to your baby. Just fill a basket with various things from around the house – spoons, soft balls, fruits, cotton… anything. Just ensure nothing is sharp or has a potential to hurt the baby.

These are just few of the many and numerous ideas you can put in use! There are so many things around the house that can be turned into play! It’s fun and also costs nothing! Just ensure that the baby is seeing, touching, hearing, feeling and moving during the activity. It is engaging and helps develop certain skills and body movements. You need to be creative and imaginative and everything around you can be a prop!

This article was first published on babyarabia.com