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12 Mar, 2024

Under the Guidance of the ‘Mother of the Nation' Sheikha Fatima, The 'Fatima bint Mubarak Forum for Motherhood and Childhood on Mental Health' to Launch Next October

Subheadings:



  • The Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood launches the preliminary program for the Fatima bint Mubarak Forum for Motherhood and Childhood on Mental Health.

  • Abdul Rahman Al Owais: A strategic step to achieve the leadership's vision in enhancing the quality of life and establishing the pillars of health for the mother, child, and family.

  • Rym Al Falasi: The expected outcomes of the forum are to enhance understanding of mental health challenges, and to strenghten systems and policies for community support.

  • Comprehensive dialogue among stakeholders and specialists in the field of mental health with the purpose of enhancing the community approach in dealing with these issues

  • An educational awareness program on mental health preceding the event, targeting all community groups across the Emirates


 


Today, March 2024


Under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak (Mother of the Nation), President of the General Women's Union, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation - may God protect her - and under her guidance, the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood announced today the preliminary program for the Fatima bint Mubarak Forum for Motherhood and Childhood on Mental Health, in preparation for its official convening on October 10th in Abu Dhabi.


The forum, focusing particularly on children, adolescents, and families, aims to establish a comprehensive dialogue on mental health issues related to motherhood and childhood in the United Arab Emirates. It focuses on adopting a community approach to raise awareness, provide support, and propose effective solutions for these issues, serving as a platform for exchanging expertise, discussing specific policies, and enhancing cooperation among relevant entities in this field.


The activities of the forum will feature an extensive dialogue among stakeholders and mental health experts aimed at enriching the communal approach toward addressing these issues. This involves bolstering awareness, fostering education, and deliberating on support systems, policies, and strategies. Furthermore, it aims at reinforcing partnerships to ensure inclusivity and smooth access to effective solutions, underpinned by innovation, research, and the powerful use of personal narratives and successful case studies in mental health management.


The forum aligns with the vision of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak that children embody the nation's past, present, and future, necessitating concerned entities to provide the necessary resources for their upbringing and education in an integrated manner.


His Excellency Abdul Rahman Al Owais, Minister of Health and Prevention, affirmed that the launch of the Fatima bint Mubarak Forum for Motherhood and Childhood, under the guidance of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak (Mother of the Nation), President of the General Women's Union, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, represents a strategic step towards achieving the wise leadership's vision of enhancing the quality of life and establishing the pillars of health for the mother, child, and family as a national priority. It also aims at formulating initiatives that efficiently and effectively respond to the community's needs, reflecting the values and aspirations of the United Arab Emirates in building a healthy society where individuals enjoy happiness, positivity, and well-being.


His Excellency said, "The Ministry of Health and Prevention is keen on supporting the forum's recommendations and transforming them into innovative and effective programs, within a framework of community and institutional cooperation and partnership. This contributes to achieving a sustainable future vision for the health of the mother, child, and family in the UAE." He praised the role of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood in translating the vision of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak in building a cohesive and prosperous society that enjoys mental and physical health, aligning with the UAE's ambitious strategies and its standing and competitiveness in the field of family and community health.


Her Excellency Rym bint Abdullah Al Falasi, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, confirmed that the Fatima bint Mubarak Forum for Motherhood and Childhood, organized under the guidance of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak (Mother of the Nation), President of the General Women's Union, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairperson of the Family Development Foundation, under her patronage, is one of the initiatives credited to her vision in elevating the services provided to mothers and children, both locally and globally. They are considered fundamental elements in building society and are essential for its stability and development.


Marking the announcement of the council's preliminary program for the forum, which is set to officially occur on October 10th next, Her Excellency Stated the event will emphasize exploring effective strategies to overcome all barriers in providing optimal mental health care for children, adolescents, and families. This is grounded in the belief that these three groups are the present and future of the nation, tasked with carrying forward the UAE's legacy of success.


Al Falasi further noted that the forum aims to delve into the complex dimensions of mental health related to motherhood and childhood. This aligns with the UAE's dedication to fostering a nurturing community atmosphere for mothers, children, and adolescents. Such efforts are instrumental in realizing the enlightened leadership's aspiration to ensure the utmost well-being and quality of life for all who dwell in the benevolent Emirates.


She pointed out that the expected outcomes of the forum include enhancing the understanding of mental health challenges faced by mothers, children, and the elderly, strengthening community support systems and policies to improve care in this field. This includes improving funding and access to services, increasing cooperation between the healthcare, education, social services sectors, and the private sector in organizing and launching integrated mental health initiatives. Additionally, it involves developing culturally appropriate mental health strategies and frameworks to enhance prevention and intervention.


Al Falasi affirmed that the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood would spare no effort in actively contributing to achieving the goals of community development in the UAE, reaching a society where all its members enjoy the highest levels of mental health and social stability. Children and adolescents would thrive in an environment that ensures their upbringing and character building in the best possible way, making them capable leaders who can fulfill the aspirations of their nation and leadership.


Shaista Asif, Group Chief Executive Officer of PureHealth said: “I am immensely heartened by the establishment of the Fatima bint Mubarak Forum for Motherhood and Childhood. This pivotal initiative, under the esteemed patronage of H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, embodies a profound commitment to nurturing the mental wellbeing of our society's most important pillars: our mothers, children, and families. The Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood's diligent efforts to spotlight mental health are both commendable and essential, reflecting an enlightened approach to public health that resonates deeply with PureHealth's mission and vision. Mental health is the cornerstone of a resilient, thriving community; acknowledging its significance paves the way for a healthier, more fulfilled society."


The forum focuses on exploring the close relationship between mental health and psychological well-being, clarifying the confusion between concepts, and affirming the interconnection and integration between mental and physical health. It also emphasizes developing positive self-image, emotional management, relationship building, and enhancing learning abilities in children and adolescents, and strengthens the role of families and communities in creating an environment that supports the psychological and social development of society members.


 


In preparation for the forum, the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood organizes a series of workshops and discussion sessions addressing various topics, including mothers' mental health, family dynamics, the therapeutic use of expressive arts, the role of physical activity in enhancing psychological well-being, and the importance of mental health initiatives in educational settings and nutrition.


 


These workshops and sessions aim to develop social and behavioral change campaigns to efficiently spread information, reduce stigma, and increase national awareness of mental health. This will provide participants with practical skills and offer a proactive, empathetic, and inclusive approach to mental health across different societal segments.


 


The forum's agenda includes discussions on child care and upbringing, focusing on the family as the primary safe haven and essential social institution for health and social care, especially in the early years, which are crucial for healthy, social success and future personality development. The role of schools in enhancing psychological and social health and safety for children is also discussed, including the responsibilities and effectiveness of psychological and social specialists in educational institutions, the nature of extracurricular activities organized in schools, and their role in meeting children's needs, particularly in recreational, artistic, creative, social, psychological, and physical aspects. The awareness level in the school environment, the institutional relationships between families and school systems, and the success of support systems in guiding children's behavior and improving their academic achievement are also topics of discussion.


 


The event also covers the role of community and health institutions in providing psychological care for children, including therapeutic institutions, social media, mass communication mediums, clubs, recreational centers, cultural, and religious institutions.


 


The forum's program, implemented in collaboration with partners of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, includes an educational awareness program on mental health targeting all societal groups across the Emirates, utilizing specialists and experienced individuals in the field in the months leading up to the forum.


 


The program will be executed in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Al Dhafra, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah, Umm Al Quwain, and Ras Al Khaimah, and will include workshops on mothers' mental health, family dynamics, mental health, expressive art therapy, sports and well-being, school-level mental health initiatives, bridging communication gaps, community leadership in mental health, elderly care, digital voices, and change makers.


 


Additionally, the program includes awareness workshops for mothers of people of determination, including the "Qahwet Hemmah" workshop held in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, and Ras Al Khaimah, covering topics like emotional intelligence and mental health, maintaining mental health, depression and treatment methods.


 


A dedicated awareness program organized by "the Council" as part of the forum's preparatory activities focuses on mental health, relaxation, and spreading positivity among partner employees, highlighting "Life Skills for Enhancing Mental Health," the importance of teamwork in this aspect, and the effects of physical fitness and arts on mental health.


 


The training side of the program includes first aid training for social workers and adults in schools who directly interact with children, as well as psychological first aid for children and adolescents, a specialized program designed to provide immediate psychological support in emergencies or other traumatic events, including disasters, and the "I Support My Friends" program, which empowers adolescents to recognize signs of distress in their peers and respond in a supportive and beneficial manner. This aims to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues, promote a culture of empathy, understanding, and peer support, in addition to training adolescents on emotional skills to effectively deal with emotional disorders.

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