Mental Health Beliefs Amongst Emirati Female College Students

Fatima Al-Darmaki, Justin Thomas, Saad Yaaqeib

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Recent epidemiological data from Arabian Gulf nations suggest that mental health problems such as depression and anxiety have a relatively high prevalence, particularly amongst women. However, despite the widespread morbidity, treatment seeking for mental health problems is low. Mental health beliefs amongst female Emirati college students were explored. A questionnaire exploring perceptions about the causes, consequences and best forms of intervention for mental health problems was administered to 70 participants. Data revealed that social and environmental factors were given the most weight in terms of etiology. Social stigma was the most frequently identified barrier to help seeking. Religious practices were commonly reported as an approach to cope with mental health problems and to maintain good psychological health. Most participants reported willingness to seek help from a healthcare professional. Results are discussed in terms of their implications for improving the quality and accessibility of mental health services in the gulf region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-238
Number of pages6
JournalCommunity Mental Health Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2016


  • Barriers to professional help-seeking
  • Emirati mental illness beliefs
  • Mental health
  • Stigma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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