The concern about the disparity between mental health service demand and supply led the World Health Organization (WHO) to start the World Mental Health (WMH) Survey Initiative in collaboration with Harvard University (Kessler & Ustun, 2004). The WMH has been conducted in 28 countries to identify the prevalence, risk factors, prognosis and treatment outcome of mental disorders. Most recently, Saudi Arabia has launched the Saudi Mental Health Survey (SNMHS) in accordance with the WMH Survey. The objective of the study is to estimate the psychiatric morbidity in different regions in Saudi Arabia and magnitude of disability caused by it. The SNMHS is a population-based, epidemiological survey which was administered to a nationally representative sample of Saudis living in urban and rural areas. A sample of approximately 4000 individuals; males and females above the age of 15, were selected randomly from each household. This sample covered 11 of 13 regions in the Kingdom. Face-to-face interview were conducted in the homes of the participants by WMH certified teams. Interviews were gender specific. A team of Saudi physicians and translators translated the questionnaire. It was then revised by an expert panel. This study is important in providing vision for clinicians and health policy makers to establish relevant preventive, therapeutic, and rehabilitation services in the Kingdom.
The Survey Research Center International Unit’s (SRC IU) role was to provide consultation on project design, questionnaire development, preparation of data collection materials, and training of staff and interviewers. In addition, we worked closely with the Saudi project team to modify our sample management and other technical systems to accommodate their project, and hosted the data on an isolated and secure server located at the University of Michigan. The collected data were sent daily to a remote and secure server at SRC where it underwent automatic quality control checks. Quality control reports using collected data and paradata were generated daily to monitor the overall sample and each interviewer’s work. SRC IU and NMHS teams scheduled weekly conference calls to review reports, discuss findings, and implemented interventions to assure data quality. SRC IU management team also conducted multiple in-person and remote trainings for the technical staff in Saudi Arabia to build their research capacity.