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25% of Egyptians suffer mental illness due to high poverty rate, report says

Graffiti work illustrating a woman living in poverty in Egypt [Samia elsaid/Twitter]
Street art illustrating a woman living in poverty in Egypt [Samia elsaid/Twitter]

In a recent survey, the Egyptian National Centre for Criminal and Social Studies has found that 25 per cent of Egyptians suffer from mental illnesses due to the country’s high rate of poverty, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported yesterday.

The survey found that the economic situation in the country pushed many Egyptians who suffer from mental illnesses to use drugs, while others consider committing suicide or carry out “dangerous crimes”.

According to the results of the survey, 60 per cent of those suffering mental illnesses consider committing suicide, while 20 per cent think of carrying out “dangerous crimes”.

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Professor of psychiatry at Al-Azhar University, Mohammed Al-Mahdy, expected the number of Egyptians affected by these conditions to reach 18 million.

Speaking to Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, Al-Mahdy said that the low number of psychiatrists in Egypt and the high price of medicines are the main reasons patients are unable to get proper treatment.

According to statistics from 2017-2018 – the latest available – the poverty rate in Egypt has risen to 32.5 per cent, while the number of people classified as poor is 20 million.

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