Women who migrate to Qatar to work as domestic helpers can face many problems, including culture shock, stress and anger management, health officials have said.
But a rising number of maids, usually between the ages of 22 and 30 years old, are learning to cope through occupational therapy at HMC’s psychiatry department, Gulf Times reports.
There, they build confidence by learning life skills like cooking, embroidery and gardening, occupational therapist Meheinaaz Hussain told the newspaper in an interview.
The OT clinic sees some dozen maids daily, many of whom are brought to the department following suicide attempts, Hussain said.
“As some of these domestic helps have only been told that they are coming to Qatar to babysit whereas on getting here, they discover that their duties also include household chores and other menial jobs, they tend to develop psychological problems and begin to have mental fits,” she explained…
“Majority of these domestic staff are coming from open countries where they enjoy some freedom, whereas the case is different here in Qatar, which is a closed society where you don’t see as many people on the streets as you see in some other countries. So, this is also having some psychological problems on them,” she said.
A small staff and resistance from sponsors in recognizing the mental health problems of their maids are two obstacles to applying OT therapy more widely in Qatar, Hussain added.