The UAE strengthens its developmental and societal efforts by directing more support to the mental health of various groups, especially the family, senior citizens, people of determination, and groups that have been directly affected in light of the circumstances and changes imposed by the “Covid-19” pandemic on everyone, which the Ministry of Community Development has accompanied by launching a package Sustainable community development initiatives that raise the level of mental health among various groups of society in a sustainable manner.
On this occasion, the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Community Development, Moza Al-Akraf, Al-Suwaidi, said that “World Mental Health Day”, which falls on October 10, this year comes in light of many societal, family and personal challenges imposed by the Corona pandemic, which reinforces the need for more attention to mental health, And providing appropriate psychosocial support initiatives during the coming months and years, by increasing focus and investment in mental health programs that are no less important than other material and moral support initiatives in society.
She added that the Ministry took upon itself the task of providing specific societal and development initiatives to cope with the repercussions of the pandemic and mitigate its effects, from an early stage of the outbreak of the virus, in which it reflected the principle of family cohesion and community cohesion in the face of emerging circumstances, which contributed to achieving more moral and psychological support. And societal, for the health and preventive efforts embodied by the national field teams, “soldiers of our first line of defense.”
The campaign achieved great community interaction through its components in both Arabic and English, as it included more than 60 hours of live psychological broadcasts, covering various topics including psychological care for senior citizens, psychological care for children, psychological support for working mothers, and other psychological topics.
The campaign also included 16 closed sessions for psychological support that were allocated to different groups, such as those in quarantine, working mothers, university and school students, and others, and more than 400 community members participated in these closed sessions, and the national psychological support campaign included a series of short psychological programs that spanned For more than 40 episodes.
The campaign targeted various segments of society, including fathers and mothers, senior citizens, youth, the first line of defense, employees and others, and during the last period, it created content rich in information on mental health, which was permanently provided through the YouTube channel of the National Program for Happiness and Wellbeing, thus achieving more than a million interactions and more than 2.5 million views, inside the country and in 30 different countries around the world.
As for the “psychological support line” initiative, it came within the framework of promoting mental health in the face of the repercussions of the new Corona virus (Covid-19), by expanding communication channels with community members by making use of the elite volunteers specializing in this field in the UAE, and it is concerned with providing psychological support and counseling. In cooperation with the elite experts, consultants, and specialists in the field of psychiatry and volunteers, through a telephone and electronic communication channel that guarantees the user an effective experience that maintains his privacy, makes him feel safe and provides him with advice in facing this global challenge, through the toll-free number and WhatsApp 800 – (HOPE) 800-4673.
Since the launch of the initiative during the month of May and until late August, the “psychological support line” received 740 calls from citizens and residents on the state’s territory, for cases in need of providing support, which were dealt with by specialized experts and volunteers. The initiative is implemented by two teams of volunteers, the first There were 32 specialists, and the second 38 volunteers were trained, who dealt with all incoming cases.
With the launch of the fifth batch of government accelerators concerned with the empowerment and leadership of women in the UAE in partnership with the General Women’s Union, and under the direction of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, President of the General Women’s Union, Supreme President of the Family Development Foundation, and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, the platform «Counseling Portal» was launched The Unified Family »in cooperation with the Ministry of Community Development and 9 federal and local authorities, to provide family counseling, under the umbrella of a free unified platform at the state level, to provide family counseling to all segments of society by 46 specialized family counselors.
During the first half of this year, coinciding with the Corona pandemic and the conditions of social distancing, the Ministry provided more than 282 family consultations, more than 84% of them “remotely” by phone or e-mail, in addition to dozens of inquiries and consultations received during episodes. “Taalive Live” direct via Instagram weekly, which is answered directly by experienced and specialized consultants.
During the last period, the Ministry has strengthened communication and contact with senior citizens, through the “We Are Your Own – Phone” initiative remotely, and within the framework of providing the necessary moral support to them during the last period of home quarantine due to the Corona pandemic “Covid-19”, which was based on telephone communication and applications. The visual telephone, as an alternative to the field visits that were a main focus of the initiative before taking measures to prevent the spread of Corona, as those in charge of it from the Ministry’s employees and volunteers seek to create an atmosphere of familiarity with senior citizens in their places of residence, to check on their psychological and social health, and to look at their household needs, including Reflects the presentation of the Ministry’s initiatives with a proactive vision.
From the beginning of this year until the end of last August, 63 volunteers, along with a number of employees of the social development centers affiliated with the Ministry of Community Development at the state level, made 12,789 calls with senior citizens at the state level, as part of the “We are yours – phone” initiative remotely. Which came within the framework of communicating with senior citizens and providing them with the necessary moral support.
Last June, the Ministry of Community Development launched the “Summer Community Platform” that included 63 interactive remote programs that attracted 5688 participants over a period of 6 weeks in six specialized development axes: the agricultural axis, the industrial axis, the community axis, the sports axis, and the recycling axis. The focus of the fifty challenge. It targeted all family members, especially children, in addition to people of determination from the age of 4 years until the end of education and rehabilitation.
People of determination
The Ministry of Community Development has provided specific psychological, social and rehabilitation support to people of determination “remotely”, and has provided people of this category and their families with more supportive initiatives and guidelines that enhance and support the efforts of teachers and parents in remote rehabilitation, such as the «Home Education Guide for People with Intellectual Disabilities. Autism, ”and“ A Guide to Remote Intervention for Children with Disabilities and Developmental Delays in Early Childhood ”.
In addition to an integrated program for parents (Psychological Aid Kit – Rest assured) to alleviate the pressures that their children face, in addition to training educational and treatment staff working in centers of people of determination on the basics of distance education for people of determination, and early remote intervention for families of children with disabilities and developmental delay.
The Department of Care and Rehabilitation of People of Determination at the Ministry of Community Development has launched a number of initiatives during the past period, such as: the “Thank you, our first line of defense” initiative, the home education guide, and the smart “My Family With Me” application.
The Ministry was able to conduct a study that included 1808 people of determination and parents, to find out the effect of “home isolation” on this group, in addition to the activities of “Me and My Brother”, which are summer programs and activities implemented by the ministry for people of determination with a virtual applied vision remotely, which includes A set of stimulating options for the integration and rehabilitation of people of determination, which addresses all students of determination remotely, each according to his age, educational and rehabilitation needs.
The Ministry participated in the translation of 31 media briefings in sign language to support access to information for people of determination, the deaf group, and in implementing 4 training courses in sign language, in addition to launching the summer program “Me and My Brother” remotely, with specific initiatives targeting people of determination and their families in support of their mental health.
The Ministry accompanied the psychological support of people of determination with the project “Mashaghel” for professional rehabilitation and remote employment, whereby the people of determination enrolled in it were able to complete 8,000 pieces of bracelets of determination and manufacture 195 boxes during the last period of the outbreak of the virus, and the people of determination also achieved a new innovation, which is “ Mask mask », and these operational achievements are among the most important initiatives aimed at promoting positive mental health with the thought of productivity.