Saudi National Health & Stress Survey

About Us

The Saudi National Health and Stress 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 Survey Initiative, in close collaboration and consultation with Harvard University and the University of Michigan Ann Arbor.

The Saudi National Health and Stress Survey (SNHSS) 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 4,005 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 83%, despite the lengthy duration of the interview.

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


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

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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

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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
Personal Story: Experience with Mental Health

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Patronage Institute

Strategic Partners


International Collaborators

Get In Touch

Contact Info

  • BESC Department,
    King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre
  • 800 124 3999

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