Mental health issues have long-remained a taboo in the Middle East. But now the UAE is switching up the narrative by launching a national hotline to support its residents’ mental health.
The program was created and run by the UAE’s National Programme for Happiness and Wellbeing and comes in the wake of global increased levels of stress, fear and anxiety as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The UAE is currently home to 26,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19. The nation, which recently eased its lockdown restrictions by opening up malls amongst other establishments, is now reinstating its curfew. In an effort to contain the virus, the UAE is now also launching a contact-tracing app that all residents are being asked to download.
Understandably, increased periods of isolation due to lockdown restrictions have left an impact on the mental health of UAE residents, hence the launch of the Mental Health Hotline. Available in both Arabic and English, anyone in need of support can call 800-4673. You can even send a WhatsApp message to be connected with mental health experts.
Illustration by Roshbena