'You are not alone': Free counselling services announced for Abu Dhabi residents

The helpline is available six days a week from Sunday to Friday



Published: Tue 26 Jul 2022, 12:41 PM

Last updated: Wed 27 Jul 2022, 8:21 AM

Abu Dhabi entities have launched ‘You are not alone’ campaign focusing on mental health and encouraging individuals to reach out and seek psychological support through the Estijaba helpline.

The Estijaba helpline 8001717, which has been providing psychological support services through SEHA's staff members over the telephone, will be further enhanced through a partnership among Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA), the Department of Community Development (DCD) and Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre (ADPHC).

The helpline addresses psychological distress calls, including emergencies in the community. It is a free-of-cost service available six days a week, from Sunday to Friday between 8 am and 6 pm.

The psychological support services were initiated earlier in 2021 as services added to the package of services provided in relation to Covid-19 pandemic response through the Estijaba helpline.

The idea is to provide the community with safe and accessible consultations that address their mental health matters without worrying about the cost and anonymity. Hotline counsellors offer psychological interventions to all community callers seeking support.

SEHA aims to provide a safe, non-judgmental, anonymous and empathic environment through the call. As a community resource, the service is available to address psychological concerns, emergencies related to mental health, and psychiatric crises through telephone calls.

Services offered range from telephone counselling to referrals to mental health services within the SEHA network, including outpatient psychiatric clinics and or the emergency department and facilitate psychiatric hospitalisations as needed.

Saeed Jaber Al Kuwaiti, Group Chief Executive Officer at SEHA, said, "To bridge the current gap in mental health services, we are collaborating with DCD and ADPHC to deliver high-quality psychological support via a telephone helpline. It is not only a way to access instant counselling in times of psychological distress but also a channel to navigate the health services to access SEHA's highly specialised outpatient psychiatric services and a resource for swift crisis intervention. For those suffering in silence, we encourage you to reach out – choose support, choose to call!"

Prompt interventions through the hotline are expected to reduce emergency room waiting time and hospital length of stay, increase access to mental health services on time and enhance the overall quality of care.

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