THE HUFFINGTON POST: The Middle East’s Online Psychiatrists

Originally Written on The Huffington Post

It is no secret that there is still a taboo associated with psychiatric care in the Middle East. Countless reports have shown that patients encounter many obstacles when seeking psychiatric help in the region.According to the study Mental Illness in the Middle East: Religion and Culture Modify Stigma, “There is a lack of awareness of how mental illness is viewed and dealt with in the Middle East. It is crucial to further understand how mental health exists in the entire world, not just the West, so that care can be maximally accessible and effective for everyone. Leaving mental illness untreated can have dire consequences. I had two hypotheses: first, that the culture and prominent religion are detrimental to Arabs’ willingness to seek care and second, that professionals are critical of their Western training.”Doctor Nafsi brings the solution to fight this stigma while offering high quality online psychiatric care available to patients who value their privacy and comfort.

Doctor Nafsi’s mission is to make high quality psychiatric care available online to patients who value their privacy and comfort. They are multilingual and can provide care in English, Arabic, and French. On their website, they state “You deserve the best and our psychiatric experts are all rigorously trained in the United States, are Board Certified, and have been hand picked to provide you with the access to treatment to which you are entitled. We hold ourselves to the highest standards and protecting your confidentiality is our utmost priority, ensuring that you can trust us with your most private information. We follow the guidelines of the American Telemedicine Association and the American Psychiatric Association. Our service puts leaders in American Psychiatry in your living room, on your time, to help you live better.”

It seems that Doctor Omar Fattal and Dr. Lama Bazzi have utilized the internet in order to fight the stigma of mental illness, and as stated on their website:

Are you feeling depressed? Anxious? Down? Are you having experiences that are scaring you and you don’t know where to turn? We can help. Our psychiatrists will meet with you and after a full evaluation, will recommend treatment that will help you get back to feeling like yourself. Our doctors will follow up with you to make sure you are making progress, and are available through our emergency system to address your concerns between appointments.

The service is also available to those who required a second opinion. Doctor Nafsi website states, “If you are already in a psychiatrist’s care and would like a second opinion, you have come to the right place. The doctor will meet with you for at least one hour, provide you with a thorough evaluation, and make recommendations for your treatment.”