Way of life determines state of mind

Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter

Mental illness is about man’s “structures in life”— his whole being and make-up – which could be sorted out when nipped in the bud by one’s simple concern and so the essence of communication, the art of conversation.

MindForce founder Chris Haill is of the belief as well that genuine dialogues between and among  public and private individuals, including “all religious leaders who have a huge (influence) on communities,” are other means towards feasible solutions of psychological problems.

He said that while up-to-date region-wide statistics are “difficult to find, between stress and anxiety to real end-of-the road which is suicide; suicide kills more men than women and also age groups between 18 to 30 are the highest numbers worldwide.

But that figure is difficult to accept when the difference between men and women is that fact that women talk more, women open up more, and there are a lot of women I think who are suffering in silence due to different nationalities, cultures and religions. That is something I have found out because I have gotten calls from women who are talking to me away from their husbands; but men are much higher percentage than women.”

Haill mentioned that “50 per cent of people who go to work are thinking of financial issues and that is a lot of people; with 50 per cent of that 50 per cent are suffering from mental illness of some sort of stress or anxiety. Financial wellness and hardship, you take this anywhere and controls your living. Being financially well covers a lot of areas that you suffer from and the troubles that can toll on people’s mind and body.” 

He pointed out that the psychologically-drained are also stricken with property and job issues: “Relationships, yes, as well.  But these three issues (properties, finances, jobs) make a difference to our lives.”

Haill spoke with Gulf Today ahead of his participation at the October 28 to 30 “Dubai Active Industry” in Dubai World Trade Centre. He is panelist at the “Mental health and wellness movement across the Middle East” and at the “Where is the Middle East at when it comes to the subject of mental health” that respectively covers treatments, the value of sleep, including the prevalence of depression among adolescents: “We need to help the young generation. Parents have to talk to their children. Communication within family is paramount. I find it offensive that parents do not take two hours or so a week to sit their kids down and just say what is wrong and say exactly what you want to say to me in whatever form you want to say and that is what I do with my son and that was how I found my son bullying and about his stress levels due to his exams and body issues.”

“We must continue communicating. Mental illness must be cut at the source,” he also stressed, adding that even a simple greeting to grand mental wellness awareness campaigns must be on the agenda. 

The Dubai resident since 2013 knows for he went through the cruelty of his “late father” who perceived him as an “idiot” because he could not deliver his expectations. The divorced father is no stranger too to the lurid consequences of psychological imbalance—addictions, relationship failures, joblessness and penniless-ness. 

The episodes of the wide spectrum of depression unceasingly haunted him. He pondered on suicide “seven to eight times a day.” He finally did, with his own belt, in January 2020. Yet, in the nick of time the Dubai Police saved him as concerns by his fellow Britons, clueless of his whereabouts, reached the authorities.

The Dubai Police and the Dubai Health Authority-supported MindForce came into being in 2021 as conceived by Haill “to build a community of businesses, medical businesses, strategic partners, advice options so we could help people.

Some people are working. Some are not. I am getting calls from people every day who have nothing.” He lauded the UAE government for its continuing efforts to upgrade everyone’s quality of life. 


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