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UAE launches online campaign for mental support amid coronavirus outbreak

UAE launches online campaign for mental support amid coronavirus outbreak

More than 50 experts in the fields of psychology, mental and social support, and life skills are a part of this programme

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The UAE’s National Programme for Happiness and Wellbeing (NPHW) has launched 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, reported official news agency WAM.

The new campaign consists of three main components.

The first, ‘Let’s Support, Together’, features daily online live sessions in which mental health professionals and experts answer questions, and offer tips and guidance to help people overcome the challenges they are facing at a time when people have been asked to stay at home and to undertake social distancing as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

The daily sessions start at 8.30pm and are broadcasted via the NPHW’s social media channels (@HappyUAE).

The second component of the programme, ‘Let’s Reassure, Together’, is a series of short, focused, awareness-raising videos prepared by mental health professionals and life skills coaches, which will provide information on building coping skills and enhancing mental resilience. These programmes will be periodically published on NPHW’s social media channels.

The third vertical of this initiative, ‘Let’s Talk, Together’, is a series of virtual support groups that provide support to various community segments, including mothers, students, and elderly caregivers who may need support during the current situation. Application for participation in these online groups will be opened periodically.

“Under the current circumstances, mental support is a basic need. Thus, the NPHW launched this national campaign to meet this vital community requirement. The initiative further seeks to promote reassurance, raise awareness and ensure a community commitment to support the government efforts aiming to protect people’s health and safety,” said Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi, minister of state for happiness and wellbeing, and director-general of the UAE Prime Minister’s Office

In 2017, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, announced the creation of the World Happiness Council to to improve the overall happiness parameters within the country.

Last month, according to the latest edition of the World Happiness Report for 2020, the UAE ranked the first among Arab nations, with Abu Dhabi and Dubai rated as the happiest cities in the Arab region.

Read: Dubai ruler forms World Happiness Council

The current Covid-19 virus has spread to almost every country in the world and has infected over 1.2million people, causing over 65,000 deaths and resulted in a major upheaval of the global economy and widespread job losses.

In the UAE, a total of 1,505 infections have been recorded in the country including 10 deaths and 125 recoveries.

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