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UAE marks World Mental Health Day

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ABU DHABI, 10th October, 2020 (WAM) — The UAE celebrates United Nation’s World Mental Health Day every year on the 10th of October to promote awareness of mental health issues and mobilise international efforts to provide more funding for mental health care, which is an essential part of the public health system.
This year, the day comes at a time when the nature of daily life has witnessed a major change due to the spread of COVID-19 and the challenges and difficulties it imposed in terms of work, study and social relations, with which the need for more support in the field of mental health and psychosocial support emerged.
In the UAE, providing psychological support to community members represented an important part of the efforts to contain the repercussions of coronavirus.
The UAE’s National Programme for Happiness and Wellbeing, NPHW, has launched ''Don't Worry'' which is a nationwide campaign to offer free online mental health support for all UAE residents coping with the adverse psychological effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 50 experts in the fields of psychology, mental and social support, and life skills, are participating in the initiative.
Recently, the Federal Authority for Government Human Resources launched the ''Hayat'' Project to provide psychological and moral support to employees of the Federal Government, with the aim of providing mental health services with specialists and consultants, and raising efficiency and productivity by reducing work and life challenges.
In 2017, the UAE adopted the National Policy for the Promotion of Mental Health, which identified major strategic objectives that include improving the effectiveness of leadership in the mental health field, developing, enhancing and expanding the scope of comprehensive, integrated, needs-responsive mental health services for all community groups and ages, as well as strengthening multi-sectoral cooperation to implement Mental Health Promotion Policy.
In 2019, the Ministry of Health and Prevention announced the launch of a number of digital solutions in the mental and psychological field, which will lead to improvements in the clinical practices field, as part of the framework of supporting and empowering mental health patients through specialised curative and awareness programmes, in addition to training young doctors.
These digital solutions include using virtual reality technology to help understand schizophrenia and to learn more about the suffering of patients with this disease, besides other technologies for the treatment of psychotic patients, victims of bullying, youth with obsessive-compulsive disorders, in addition to an innovative programme of cognitive behavioural therapy, which will be evaluated following use in the primary schools.