Current state of psychiatry in Saudi Arabia.
In 1983, an article and accompanying editorial was published on the state of psychiatry in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), which was described as "a mental health system in statu nascendi."We provide a 30-year update on advances in mental health care in KSA. Data are reported from a wide range of sources, including the 2007 Saudi Arabian Mental and Social Health Atlas, which compares services in KSA with the rest of the world.We examine how the current mental health system operates in KSA, including recent changes in mental healthcare policy and development of a national mental healthcare plan. Discussed are current needs based on the prevalence and recognition of mental disorders; availability of services and providers (psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses, psychologists, and social workers); education and training in psychiatry; developments in consultation-liaison, addictions, child-adolescent, and geriatric psychiatry; and progress in mental health research.Mental healthcare in Saudi Arabia has come a long way in a very short time, despite cultural, religious, social, and political challenges, although there still remain areas where improvement is needed. The development of psychiatry in KSA serves as a model for countries in the Middle East and around the world.
Koenig, HG; Al Zaben, F; Sehlo, MG; Khalifa, DA; Al Ahwal, MS
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