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Covid-19 mental health helpline launched for UAE frontline heroes

Staff Reporter /Abu Dhabi
reporters@khaleejtimes.com Filed on November 15, 2020
AFP file photo

A research by the Frontline Heroes Office revealed 46% of frontline professionals felt Covid-19 impacted their mental health

A special Covid-19 helpline to provide mental health support to frontline professionals has been launched in the UAE. The support line is available on 800-HOPE (800-4673) from 8am to 8pm and aims to offer long-term mental wellbeing support to frontline professionals through a team of 55 trained volunteers.

The initiative was launched after a research conducted by the Frontline Heroes Office revealed that 46 per cent of professionals felt Covid-19 had impacted their mental health. A quarter of the surveyed frontline professionals reported burnout, while 81 per cent expressed concern about contracting the virus.

“This initiative falls under the framework of the efforts of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, in his role as chairman of the Frontline Heroes Office, to support frontline professionals in facing the Coronavirus pandemic on a national level,” the Frontline Heroes Office said in a statement.

The first-of-its-kind helpline in the region is supported by the Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre and the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (Seha).

Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Board of the Frontline Heroes Office, said: “Across the globe, frontline professionals have faced the brunt of the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite feeling the burden of the pandemic more than most, they have continued to get up every single day and help keep this great nation going.

“Their selfless work has meant that the UAE has been one of the leading countries in tackling the pandemic with sincerity and passion, which is why we must take care of them in appreciation of their dedication and generosity.”

He said that supporting the mental welfare of frontline professionals is more important now than ever. “The current pandemic has highlighted the unique challenges faced by our invaluable frontline professionals, and our hope is that through this helpline, we can help provide impactful mental health support to these brave individuals who are dedicating their lives to protecting us all.”

Hessa bint Essa Buhumaid, Minister of Community Development, said the community has to come together to support the health of frontline professionals “in the same way that they have selflessly protected us”.

How to access the service

The service is part of a mental health hotline launched earlier by the National Programme for Happiness and Wellbeing. The dedicated helpline for frontline professionals can be accessed by dialling 800-HOPE (800-4673).

The Mental Health Support Line has received more than 1,200 calls from Emiratis and residents since its launch in May this year.

The line is run by a team of English- and Arabic-speaking volunteers. They are supported by a team of 12 clinical psychologists.

The Frontline Heroes Office, established in July 2020, is tasked with recognising and caring for those working on the frontlines in the war against Covid-19.

reporters@khaleejtimes.com

Staff Reporter





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