A Workshop Demonstrating Lack of Coordination in the Issues of Providing Mental Health Services


On Monday, the National Council for Family Affairs organized a workshop on mental health and psychological support in Jordan demonstrated that there is a clear lack of weakness in the coordination process in the provision of mental health and social support at the national level, which requires finding a single umbrella for institutionalizing the works with parties.

The, which was held in cooperation with the International Medical Corps and attended by representatives from the relevant official and civil institutions, has revealed that there is no mental health legislation that preserves the right of patients in treatment, follow-up, and providing a supportive environment for them, along with defining roles and the scope of responsibility.    

The participants unanimously identified and agreed that the financial allocations designated to provide mental health and social support services shall be raised in the budget of ministries and public institutions, and there is a need to strengthen human resources that are capable to provide mental health services and to open more psychiatric clinics to secure growing demand for mental health care services.

The Secretary-General of the Council, Dr. Muhammad Miqdadi, stated that investing in the provision of mental health services and psychological support is the best investment in the future in terms of disease prevention before infection and in terms of early treatment that reduces economic, social, and psychological costs on society, the patient and its family.

Dr. Miqdadi added that Jordan has multiple sectors in providing mental health care, whether government sectors; for instance, hospitals of the Ministry of Health and Royal Medical Services and Universities, or the private sector and local and international civil society organizations. This requires a comprehensive and standardized database for all shareholders in mental health in order to plan and develop programs in a manner that serves the disease and brings together the efforts, emphasizing the need to have a standardized medical protocol at the national level to manage the mental health cases.

In turn, the representative of the International Medical Corps, Dr. Ahmed Al-Bawa’neh, reported the most remarkable results of the field survey of mental health services that are available in Jordan 2021. He stated that the survey addressed the services provided in the field of mental health in order to improve the access to them, and it showed that there is a wider need to provide psychiatric services and distribute them fairly. Furthermore, there is a need for more human cadres involved in the provision of psychiatric services, and intensifying efforts on follow-up and control for the quality of services provided and their suitability and efficiency of the service providers.

While the Director of the Institute for Family and Child Health, Dr. Ibrahim Aqel, who moderated the discussion in the second session, stated that there is a need to join efforts and come up with a comprehensive national plan to advance the reality the mental health and psychological support, thereby contributing to raising the equality of the therapeutic and preventive mental health programs.

Dr. Wael Al-Momani from the Ministry of Health, from his side, addressed the mental health services in Jordan and the Ministry’s considerable efforts in this regard; pointing out that there are challenges to providing better mental health services, including the negative perception towards the psychiatric patient, and the lack of human cadres and financial allocations and the absence of mental health law.

Dr. Ahmed Al-Sheikh from the University of Jordan advocated for fostering awareness of the mental illness and changing the stereotype in society towards those who suffer from mental illness, requiring for providing all forms of psychological and social support to them, and not exposing them to social exclusion or losing their self-confidence, which exacerbates their suffering.

While Dr. Malak Al-Auri, the Director of the Directorate of People with Disabilities and Mental Health in the Ministry of Health, stated that the coordination between governmental and non-governmental entities and institutions concerned with mental health issues needs to be taken care of and given the paramount importance, which constitutes an important element in the success of the activities and programs implemented in this field