The State Of Mental Health In Egypt

The mental health sector in Egypt is currently working on its awareness and progressing towards providing proper healthcare to all its citizens in all regions. This Mediterranean country is still considered underdeveloped in terms of mental health awareness compared to the west.  A nationwide survey conducted by psychologists in 2018 resulted in 25% of the population suffering and enduring numerous mental health issues, namely, anxiety, depression, drug, and substance abuse. It showed that the rural regions had the highest rates of mental health problems compared to their urban counterparts.

[Vamik] Volkan says we have a “second skin,” a secondary layer of personhood.  In addition to our sense of self, we often have an extended identity: our group identity. — Molly S. Castelloe Ph.D.

Though higher authorities and governments were notified and have said to be implementing plans to provide access to proper treatment, the developments seem to be too slow in adequately caring for the people of Egypt. Egypt’s mental health sector still suffers from low funding, material, and human resources. Not to mention the scarcity of proper health facilities to treat citizens that needs full care.


Another issue Egypt faces in the mental health sector is the lack of trained professionals. There is still a growing stigma against mental health care and the idea of the illness that pushes Egyptians to believe mental health is a myth. The government promise to promote awareness, but even until now, citizens of Egypt still lack proper treatment and education on the issue.

Depression, Anxiety, And Substance Abuse

Common mental health illnesses, as stated above, are prevalent all across the globe. Sadly it is also the three major health issues in Egyptians today. Depression, anxiety, and substance abuse cause the most impact through the significant harm they bring in different parts of Egypt mainly; mortality, morbidity, and financial destruction.

  • 43.7% of Egyptians suffer from anxiety disorders.
  • 30.1% suffer from depression linked to drug/substance abuse.

Often what causes us suffering is not a particular adverse event, but our opinion about it. We can make a difficult situation much worse by the attitude we bring to it. — Susan K Perry Ph.D.

What Has The Government Done?


  • Mental Health Awareness Campaigns

Egypt has attempted to launch campaigns, increasing awareness of mental health issues. The advocacies are usually collaborations with NGOs and governments to reach out to the marginalized and in need. Egypt has also tried to launch awareness through the media – television shows and movies.

  • Law For Proper Care Of Mental Health Patients

Egypt’s parliament passed a mental health law in 2009 that ensures the protection of the rights of the patients who suffer from different mental health problems. The law also included a bill of rights for mental health facilities, and the patients’ right to consent to be treated or admitted into these facilities.

Why Isn’t Egypt’s Health Sector Providing Proper Care Nationwide?

  • Lack of trained mental health professionals
  • Low government spending
  • Lack of facilities
  • Negative stigma towards mental health
  • Failure of the government to see it as a priority


Though the government still aims to improve. It is evident the citizens of Egypt still need more awareness and treatment, especially in rural areas. Compared to Western countries where people continuously erase the negative stigma around mental health, and where healthcare and awareness are prominent, the Egyptian government still needs to go a long way to provide citizens with the exact treatment they need. Another issue growing is the increase in anxiety and depression in teachers and young students all over the country. Having a mental health professional in each institution will help in catering the teachers and students in need.

“Treat others the way they deserve to be treated.” Let’s call it the “New Golden Rule.” What this implies is that we should judge others to assess what kind of treatment they deserve, and then treat them accordingly. —

Mental health awareness wasn’t as prevalent in the past years. But throughout the 2000s era, the stigma around it has completely changed. People all over the world used to brush off deep-rooted emotions and traumas because there was no one else around them speaking out on issues such as theirs. Now that it is a global issue, starting with first world countries through pop culture, social media, and celebrities speaking out on their experiences with mental illnesses, there are more outlets for people who need proper treatment and health care.

This awareness is still slowly making its way to smaller countries such as Egypt, but they still have a long way to go. The people of Egypt deserve the same treatment people of western countries receive, precisely because they suffer a higher percentage of it.

More and more campaigns are being launched to bring awareness to this, and facilities and workforce still have yet to be provided equally. Egypt has a long way to go before being able to properly attend to the citizens that truly need the government’s help and attention. Multiple NGOs continue to fight for their rights to proper treatment from higher authorities. Hopefully, this makes a significant mark to bring attention to the Egyptian government and improve the mental health of its people.

Survey: 25% Of Egyptians Suffer From Mental Health Issues


Twenty-five percent of the Egyptian population are afflicted with disorders and conditions related to mental health. This was discovered from the findings of a study conducted throughout the nation by the Ministry of Health.
Continue reading “Survey: 25% Of Egyptians Suffer From Mental Health Issues”

The Development Of Behavioral Health In Egypt



The Basics

Egyptian behavioral health or Egyptian psychology started in the 19th century. Psychology according to Islam was the study of the human behavior and the human mind – the mind specifically referring to human consciousness or intellect. Hence, the old Islamic psychology did not only focus on the mind. It included the soul, which represented human personality and nature. It also included the heart and the spirit, as evidenced by the extensive writings of the medieval Arab scholars. Islamic behavioral health or Islamic psychology as a whole encompassed the study of the self (or the ‘Nafs’) and was associated with psychiatry, psychology, and the sciences.

The Development

An Egyptian king did the first documented psychological experiment in the 7th century. It concluded that if children from Egypt were separated when they were infants without exposure to any type of communication, they would instinctively speak their original language – Egyptian – further supporting the idea that language comes from the mind. Eventually, psychology was introduced and practiced by all Arab regions, and several Arab scholars made history in contributing to the discipline. These include Ibn-Khaldoun, Al-Farabi, Ibn-Sina, and Ibn-al-Heitham.

The practice flourished even more with the opening of the first university in Egypt in 1908. Subsequently, the first behavioral health lecture was held there in 1911, which was a discussion of the psychology of women. During this time, French teachers taught psychology in Egypt. However, in 1940, the Egyptian psychologists were given the responsibility, and since then they taught psychology. The best teacher ever known in Egypt was Y. Mourad, who studied and earned his Psychology degree in France. After him, several others got qualified to teach the discipline in Egypt and surrounding Arab countries, although organizations established associated with psychology were short-lived due to financial reasons.


Undeniably, Egypt became the primary doorway of modern psychology to the rest of the Arab nations. Consequently, most of these nations share equal strengths and weaknesses with Egypt when it comes to the behavioral health discipline. Perhaps this is because Egypt and the Arab nations share the same language, religion, history, and political issues. Some of the trials and challenges of Egyptian psychology include:

  • Universities in Egypt have had financial issues, just as other sectors in Egypt did. This affected academic outcomes, including psychology.
  • The Psychology Department is still part of the Arts Department in Egypt instead of being a separate one. This is why the discipline is torn between the scientific and the literary disciplines. As a result, there is also a conflict between two classifications of psychologists – the teachers from graduate school and those from the medical group.
  • Animal psychology has not been receiving attention in the Egyptian psychological institutes.
  • The presence of misconceptions surrounding psychology, including the belief that mental illness is a sign of weak faith, that those who are inflicted with a mental disorder should not be given high-level type jobs, and that mentally ill individuals should not be allowed to wander freely but should be locked away in mental care institutions.


The Future Of Egyptian Behavioral Health

In spite of the many trials, even until today, Egyptian psychologists have reached up to 70% of the entire Arab psychologist population, and Egyptian research and studies make up approximately 70% of the entire Arabic outcomes. These committed psychologists who are sincere in their practice hope to be involved in more collaboration with funded trials with colleagues from across the world. They want to establish a standard database for different psychological tests that are useful especially for their people. It is also their biggest hope that one day, professional meetings and conferences of psychological societies will be held in the Arab regions to help them in developing behavioral health and psychology as a whole in their part of the world.



Indeed, there have been, and still, there are challenges that face Egyptian psychology, which includes finances to support and perform research activities. Unfortunately, there is also a lack of an appropriate system of communication among Egyptian and Arab psychologists, plus a vague and problematic identity of the standing of psychology. The further development of this experimental but major branch of science in Egypt will not be a walk in the park, but it certainly has to be done.




Did You (Or Didn’t You) Know This About Egypt?



Egypt, referred to as the land of the pharaohs, is popular for its shimmering treasures, great pyramids, and historical mummies. But what else do you know about this interesting country?

Read on and discover what you probably didn’t know about Egypt – its people, cultures and beliefs, and their way of life.


Facts About Egypt

  1. Employed Workers Built The Pyramids, Not Slaves. That I didn’t know!

We have been made to believe all this time, through the historian Herodotus, that over 100,000 slaves combined forces to build the Great Pyramids of Egypt. However, archaeological proof reveals that salaried employees totaling to 5,000, and 20,000 temporary employees worked on them. These men were not slaves. They were housed in a camp and provided with food, water, and medical services.


  1. Not All Who Died Were Mummified. But in the movies, everyone was.

Mummies are a distinct artifact, which is almost always associated with Egypt. But contrary to what we thought, only the wealthy Egyptians were mummified, since the process of mummification was laborious and quite expensive. Majority of the dead in Egypt were buried in the deserts, in simple pits.


The belief of the rich Egyptians was that if their bodies were preserved or mummified, they would possibly live again.


  1. Men And Women In Egypt Had Equal Rights. This sounds ironic since in most Muslim countries, the men were always above the women. 

Egyptian women shared the same status as men. In other words, they can own properties, work and earn, and they can live on their own without any protection from men. In business matters, they were also allowed to replace their absent husbands.

Egyptian women, however, are expected to marry and fulfill their roles as wife and mother. Therefore, they were to take care of the house and raise their children well while the husband works and earns for the family.


  1. Egyptian Women Can Become Kings. Does this happen anywhere else?

Typically, the next king of Egypt is the previous king’s son, which is not always the case in this country. The king can actually choose whomever he wants to take his crown, even the most unlikely individual. Hatshepsut is one of the few women rulers who successfully reigned for over 20 years. She was literally King because queens in Egypt were used to refer to wives of the king.


  1. Cleopatra May Not Have Been Beautiful After All. We would beg to disagree, as she seduced two very important men – Mark Antony and Julius Cesar. Perhaps they were taken by her wits?



Cleopatra VII was the last queen of the old Egypt and she was believed to be beautiful, smart, and cunning. We have always assumed that she was beautiful, yet the coin that has her face engraved on proves otherwise. On her coin, Cleopatra had a sharp chin, a protruding nose, and eyes that were deep-set. But others suggest that maybe she wanted to look less feminine on her coin, although the historian Plutarch, who never ever saw the queen, tells that Cleopatra’s charm was all in her character and her lovely voice!


Do you know of other interesting and unique details on the history of Egypt? If you do, let us know!