According to World Health Organization depression affects 350 million people worldwide and is a leading cause of disability, affecting more women than men.
In the Arab world, it is estimated that 17.7 percent of the population suffers from depression. With these alarming statistics, mental health is a top priority on the UAE National Agenda and a focus for Al Jalila Foundation research.
One Al Jalila Foundation funded research project, led by Dr Wegdan Bani Issa from University of Sharjah, is an in-depth population-based study among healthy adult women living in the UAE. This research studies the relationship between stress levels, sleep quality, physical activity and dietary habits.
Mental health is related to mental and psychological well-being. It affects how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Women are at great risk for increased stress levels due to hormonal differences and pressure related to engaging in multiple roles in life.
Research like Dr Wegdan’s takes us a step closer to understanding how a woman’s stress relates to her lifestyle choices and will help develop evidence-based interventions geared toward improving her mental health, happiness level and productivity.