Saudi National Health & Stress Survey

About Us

The Saudi National Health and Stress Survey (SNHSS) also known as the Saudi National Mental Health Survey, is a general population epidemiologic survey that estimates prevalence and correlates of mental, substance use and behavioral disorders. This survey was conducted as part of the World Health Organization’s World Mental Health (WMH) Survey Initiative, in close collaboration and consultation with Harvard University and the University of Michigan Ann Arbor.

The Saudi National Health and Stress Survey is an important nationwide study that provides a vision for clinicians and health policy makers to establish data driven mental health services and programs in KSA.

The survey falls under the umbrella of the King Salman Center for Disability Research, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, King Faisal Specialized Hospital and Research Centre, the General Authority for Statistics, and King Saud University in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), Harvard University, and University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Funding for this project was through generous grants from Sabic, King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, and the Abraaj Group.

Why Health & Stress?

Mental health is defined as a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the stressors of life, work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.

One in every four people suffers from a mental health issue, globally. More than 450 million people suffer from mental health disorders around the world. Around 20% of the world's children and adolescents are estimated to have mental health disorders or problems Most low and middle-income countries have only one child psychiatrist for every 4 million people, leading to a large gap between supply and need for services in those areas.

The SNHSS was launched under the umbrella of the WMH Survey Consortium, with the vision to bridge the gap between mental health service demand and supply.

What are our goals

Our ultimate goal is to measure:

1. How much burden does mental illness exert on the Saudi community?

2. Who are the individuals, who are most at-risk in KSA?

3. What are the most common mental health problems in the Saudi community?

4. What are the best ways of offering mental health education and services in KSA?

Who Are We?

Principal Investigators


Yasmin Al Twaijri

Senior Scientist, Head of Epidemiology

King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre

Abdullah Al-Subaie

Consultant Psychiatrist

Edrak Medical Center


Abdulhameed Al-Habeeb

Consultant Psychiatrist

Ministry of Health

How We work


The SNHSS relies on a nationally representative sample of 4,000 male and female Saudis between the ages of 15 and 65, who are selected randomly from both urban and rural areas in the Kingdom.

Survey Instrument

Face-to-face gender-specific interviews using the Saudi version of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI), are conducted via laptops to ensure excellent accuracy and quality of data collected.

Saliva Sample

We collect saliva samples from our respondents with their consent. The DNA specimens extracted from these samples will be used to study genetic risk factors for mental health conditions prevalent in the Saudi population.


We have a group of certified interviewers and supervisors who conduct the interviews and obtain high-quality data using standardized protocols.

IT Helpdesk

Our Helpdesk team is available throughout the week to remotely assist the field staff in case technical or logistic problems arise during data collection.

Quality Control

Our team has time and again received recognition from the University of Michigan for exceptionally implementing standardized quality control procedures.

Data Collection

December, 2016: The SNHSS has successfully collected a total of 4,004 completed interviews from all regions in KSA. Each interview lasted between 90 minutes and up to 11 hours. The cooperation rate was very high at 76%, despite the lengthy duration of the interview.

89 Cooperation Rate (%)
2343409 Interviews
1302 Screeners
52 Interviewers




Technical report

Journal Articles

The Saudi National Mental Health Survey: Methodological and logistical challenges from the pilot study


Full Article

Evidence-based guideline implementation of quality assurance and quality control procedures in the Saudi National Mental Health Survey


Full Article

Probing for sensitivity in translated survey questions: Differences in respondent feedback across cognitive probe types


Full Article

Implementing the TRAPD model for the Saudi adaptation of the World Mental Health Composite International Diagnostic Interview 3.0


Full Article

Using knowledge management tools in the Saudi National Mental Health Survey helpdesk: pre and post study


Full Article

Barriers to Mental Health Treatment in the Saudi National Mental Health Survey

Full Article

Evaluating survey consent to social media linkage in three international health surveys

Full Article

Mental health service use among people without mental health disorders in the Saudi National Mental Health Survey

Full Article

Content Analysis and Predicting Survey Refusal: What Are Respondents’ Concerns about Participating in a Face-to-face Household Mental Health Survey?

Full Article

Drop out from mental health treatment in the Saudi national mental health survey

Full Article

The comparative importance of mental and physical disorders for health-related days out of role in the general population of Saudi Arabia

Full Article

Special Issue

Overview of the Saudi National Mental Health Survey

Full Article

The Saudi National Mental Health Survey: Survey instrument and field procedures

Full Article

Clinical reappraisal of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview Version 3.0 in the Saudi National Mental Health Survey

Full Article

The Saudi National Mental Health Survey - Sample design and weight development

Full Article

Twelve-month prevalence and severity of mental disorders in the Saudi National Mental Health Survey

Full Article

Twelve-month treatment of mental disorders in the Saudi National Mental Health Survey

Full Article

Lifetime prevalence and age-of-onset distributions of mental disorders in the Saudi National Mental Health Survey

Full Article

Lifetime treatment of DSM-IV mental disorders in the Saudi National Mental Health Survey

Full Article

World Mental Health Cross-national Papers

The role of religious advisors in mental health care in the World Mental Health surveys

Full Article

The descriptive epidemiology of DSM-IV Adult ADHD in the World Health Organization World Mental Health Surveys

Full Article

Estimating treatment coverage for people with substance use disorders: an analysis of data from the World Mental Health Surveys

Full Article

Perceived helpfulness of treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder: Findings from the World Mental Health Surveys

Full Article

Findings From World Mental Health Surveys of the Perceived Helpfulness of Treatment for Patients With Major Depressive Disorder

Full Article

Perceived helpfulness of bipolar disorder treatment: Findings from the World Health Organization World Mental Health Surveys

Full Article

Book Chapter

Case Studies on Monitoring Interviewer Behavior in International and Multinational Surveys

Full Article


Project Highlights
Interview with an SNHSS Team Member: Abdulrahman Bin Muammar, Outreach Director
How is the study conducted?
Mental Health: Up to date insight on emotional health, well-being, & mental health information from Harvard Medical School
Helpful Tips: Body/Mind balance

SNHSS Progress In The Field
Training & Development
Interview with a SNHSS Team Member: Fatmah Abdulkader, ITA-Agent
What is Anxiety?
Categorizing Anxiety
Praise For The Project

Click Here

Fieldwork Progress
Training & Development
Annual Conference: World Mental Health Consortium
Interview with a SNHSS team member: Sanaa Hyder at Quality Control
SNHSS Events for Mental Health Awareness
What is OCD?

Click Here


This webinar brings together leading experts in the field of mental and public health to discuss the latest evidence of Covid-19 and its impact on mental health and ways to address it.

Watch Now

For the resources and questions answered by the webinar speakers please click here

تهدف هذه الندوة الإفتراضية الى عرض آراء خبراء و شخصيات بارزة في مجال الصحة النفسية لتسليط الضوء على الواقع الجديد ما بعد الكورونا، وتأثيرها النفسي على المدى القريب و البعيد. و سيتم طرح الإستراتجيات المناسبة التي تساعدنا على الإستعداد النفسي للتكيف مع الواقع الجديد


للإطلاع على المعلومات التي قدمت من قبل المتحدثين و الاسئلة والايجابيات التي تم طرحها اضغط هنا



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Strategic Partners


International Collaborators

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Contact Info

  • Biostatistics, Epidemiology & Scientific Computing Department,
    King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre, Riyadh