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Although healthcare in Oman has tremendously improved recently, mental health care has continued to lack attention and proper resources (World Health Organization [WHO], 2008). In 2005, the mental health plan for the country was revisited to address increasing the availability of healthcare services, establishing a budget, creating goals, etc. (WHO, 2008). The WHO (2008) further explains that legislation has been created to help set standards for future mental health services, although the current services that are offered lack credibility. Primary care doctors have been advised to prescribe psychotherapeutic medicines in place of psychiatrists, for example (WHO, 2011). The WHO (2008) explains that there are only 26 outpatient facilities in Oman. Additionally, there are no day treatment facilities or residential facilities offered in Oman, these problems need to be addressed in the next revision to show that mental health is being taken seriously (WHO, 2008).
There is no counselling association available in Oman. There is no credential or licensing process for counsellors and a lack of information online on the availability of counsellors. Most psychotropic medicines are prescribed by primary care doctors rather than psychiatrists which shows the low regulations on this profession.
It is unclear how many licensed counsellors there are in Oman considering that the mental health legislation is new and there is still a lack of information on counsellors. Possible settings for practicing counsellors in Oman are:
- Outpatient centers
- Psychiatric inpatient centers
- Mental hospitals
Oman has a lack of mental health institutes and a lack of counsellor presence. Literature regarding mental health provisions is also sparse. However, mental health policy is still in development for the plan and growth of mental health implementation in the country. Moreover, certification and training for counsellors is also developing alongside the development of legislation. The lack of education in the country on mental health has recently been what prevents the growth of this profession. With the increasing understanding of mental health, there will be more approved legislation and regulation on the implementation of mental health services in the future.
For a deeper exploration of the counselling profession in the country, interested readers are recommended to read the following journal & website articles: