Saudi Arabia is a nation which is making positive growth in the mental healthcare field. In its Country Cooperation Strategy, the WHO stated that there were 20 psychiatric hospitals open across the country. Mental health professionals have also been employed by most of the country’s primary healthcare centres. In fact, there were an estimated 1.3 psychiatric beds per 10,000 people in 2010.
The paper, Mental Health System in Saudi Arabia: An Overview, reports that Saudi Arabia still needs to improve its community mental healthcare services to match international trends evident in developed countries. Due to the increasing demand for the treatment of mental conditions such as trauma, a larger workforce is also required at all levels.
Trauma in Saudi Arabia
While Saudi Arabia has mostly avoided the conflict found in other Middle Eastern countries, there are still certain local groups which may be prone to mental trauma. Among fire, police and emergency workers in Jeddah, one study found the prevalence of PTSD was 6% to 32%. It also identified a number of risk factors including single marital status, low education levels and previous childhood adversity. Poor morale and social support was also associated with this mental disease.
For Saudis in the military or national guard, the WHO has estimated that of those who experience traumatic events such as war or armed conflict, approximately 10% will have serious health problems while a further 10% will exhibit symptoms which hinder their ability to function effectively. This includes both mental and physical conditions.
Attitudes to Mental Health in Saudi Society
Although progress is being made to develop mental health care for treatment such as trauma, the field still experiences a negative stigma within Saudi society. One study found that 82% of Saudi Arabian students thought that even if a person expressed interest in studying psychiatry that they were seen as odd, peculiar or neurotic. This has led to large numbers of students being discouraged from pursuing this path by their teachers, family and friends.
There is also the issue of traditional folk medicine and superstitions to overcome. Many Saudis believe that psychiatric disorders are caused by curses such as the evil eye. If a person exhibits signs of mental trauma, often demons, fate and the failure to perform certain rituals is blamed instead of external factors such as the individual’s history, lifestyle or habits. The Saudi Gazette reports that getting treatment by visiting a counsellor is still a new concept in Saudi society although this is gradually becoming a more acceptable option.
Trauma Therapy Alternatives for Saudis
Due to the country’s still developing mental health field and the general stigma attached to psychiatric conditions such as trauma, some Saudis opt to get treated overseas instead. This gives them access to international standards of care in an environment free from judgement and negativity.
Camino Recovery is one option available for Saudis seeking professional help with mental trauma. We are a private retreat found on the Andalusian Coast of Spain. A few minutes from the seaside, this is a serene setting where patients can get to the root of their mental issues and form a balanced mind for the long-term.
Treatment from a Multi-Disciplinary Team
Our clinical and support staff will be there to guide you through a tailored therapy programme specifically designed to eliminate your trauma and let you lead a happier, healthier lifestyle on your return to Saudi Arabia. We will accomplish this through a range of treatments including group therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, equine assisted psychotherapy and more.
The goal will be to help you fly back to Saudi Arabia without any of the mental difficulties you currently face. We will root out the cause of your problem plus give you advice on how to deal with your thoughts, emotions and urges in a mentally healthy manner. Our team has more than 80 years of combined experience and can help Saudis from all walks of life cope with and eventually eliminate their mental trauma.
A Spanish Vacation for Trauma Victims
Booking into Camino Recovery is an easy choice for Saudis seeking the world’s best trauma therapy. We are located a quick drive from Malaga Airport meaning you can fly here from Riyadh in about 12 hours. On arrival, our friendly drivers will pick you up and take you to our seaside retreat where you can commence your therapy. Staying in our private villa with spare time to enjoy the beach, we offer a full holiday and treatment package that truly balances your mind.