The National: Suicidal Students in the Middle East Need More Help: Psychologist
September 13th, 2011
As posted in The National, on 11 September, 2011
Zaineb Al Hassani
ABU DHABI // The Middle East needs resources to help people with suicidal thoughts and tendencies, a psychologist says.
“There is no hotline” for people to call, Dr Muhammed Taher, a consultant child psychologist in Dubai, said yesterday at a conference to mark World Suicide Prevention Day.
“This is a big issue,” Dr Taher said. “In one case I could not let a patient go from my clinic. I told him I did not feel comfortable and I had to call family to take him to a psychiatric hospital. We need to work on the resources.”
His comments come after a survey recently revealed about 400 students in grades 8, 9 and 10 at UAE government and private schools had seriously considered suicide.
The study was conducted by the Global School-based Student Health Survey (GSHS) of the World Health Organization (WHO).
Of 2,581 pupils aged between 13 and 15 who were polled last year, about 325 said they tried to commit suicide at least once in 2010.
The figures were shocking, said Dr Yousef Abou Allaban, the medical director of the American Center for Psychiatry and Neurology in Abu Dhabi, which organised the conference.
“I do treat children here who think of suicide and who attempt suicide … but I never expected such a high number,” Dr Abou Allaban said….read more