Dubai Culture enhances employee knowledge of mental health

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         Keeping pace with change and managing the transition to a new lifestyle in light of the effects of COVID-19.

·         In line with the happiness pillar within the institutional priorities of the Authority’s strategic roadmap.

Dubai, UAE: Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) held a virtual awareness workshop for its employees on mental health under the title ‘Moving Forward in Times of Change’ to educate them about the basics of psychological well-being, creating balance, achieving psychological flexibility and the ability to adapt and effectively manage change, especially in the post COVID-19 period.

On the importance of this workshop, Mohammed Obaid Al Marri, Director of Human Resources at Dubai Culture, said: “The organization of this workshop came within the framework of our commitment to establishing programmes, workshops and activities that contribute to maintaining the psychological, mental and physical health and safety of our employees, in line with the happiness pillar within the institutional priorities of our strategic roadmap 2020-2025. The session aims to educate employees on ways to keep pace with the changes imposed by COVID-19 on individual lifestyles and behaviors, manage transition in light of uncertainty, and deal with change and new life practices positively, which will reflect on their happiness and inner peace as well as improve their productivity in general.”

Additionally, Shatha Taher, Manager of Employee Services at Dubai Culture, said: “Our lives have been fundamentally changed due to COVID -19, which has not only affected the work lives of individuals but also disturbed the private lives of the overall community. Working mothers are especially facing a huge stress on their overall daily lives as they have to maintain a balance between their personal and work lives. Thus, initiatives, such as mental health workshops, are really important for the employees as they equip them with tools and insight on how to cope with sudden changes and ongoing challenges during these unprecedented times.”

The workshop was held on 23 June via Zoom and was presented by Dr Saliha Afridi, Clinical Psychologist, and Managing Director and Co-founder of The Lighthouse Arabia, a centre for mental health and well-being in Dubai. She has extensive training and experience across a wide range of mental health issues and is dedicated to working with children, adolescents, adults and families to give them the courage to address the challenges that face them, guiding them on a path to happiness.

The session addressed several topics, most prominently the difference between changing and transitioning to a new situation, the three stages of transition, and the feelings associated with each stage, how to navigate each stage of transition, and the top five needs of individuals as they go through change, loss, and transitions.

Dr Saliha Afridi said: “In the UAE, every year before summer, winds of change are blowing. Whether it’s the end of our children’s school year, our colleagues leaving, or our friends moving away, many life changes take place at this time; the losses and changes that we experience impact all of us differently. It can be reassuring to know that there are things we can do to actively navigate the changes and uncertainty we encounter in our lives.”