On the occasion of World Mental Health Day, the Department of Community Development (DCD) of Abu Dhabi, released the ‘Parents’ Guide on Mental Health’ to create all-round awareness on concepts of mental health, which will help mould a healthy family environment. This launch is a part of DCD’s constant efforts to providing services and initiatives that form a pillar for various segments of the society, in collaboration with social and health entities of Abu Dhabi.
The Guide which prepared by the Department of Community Development (DCD) of Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority and Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre, gives parents an overall information on dealing with day-to-day stress and leading a healthy and stable life. It also sheds light on the importance of mental health, and its impact on an individual or a family’s behaviour and feelings, further highlighting how it affects daily lives and the ability to handle mental pressure. This guide highlights the factors that affect mental health, including relationships, lifestyles, personal factors, and external factors.
H.E. Dr. Layla AlHayas, Executive Director of the Community Development Sector at the Department of Community Development – Abu Dhabi confirmed that "DCD’s commitment to launching initiatives that support mental health, such as the Parents’ Guide on Mental Health. She reiterated that the Department is constantly devising and implementing initiatives to offer services that meet the demands of community members and offer them optimum tools to cope with mental stress".
H.E. Al-Hayas said: “We have launched the Parents Guide with an aim to create awareness on different mental aspects of parents, while focusing on empowering them to effectively deal with daily life pressures. The guide offers support to their capabilities of dealing with social circumstances and difficult situations. With this guide, we highlight our efforts to monitor, identify and address societal challenges and provide care and high standards of services to the community members. It further reflects our dedication to ensuring the well-being of the Abu Dhabi community and strengthening the Emirates position as an ideal living destination.”
This guide informs parents on various methods to enhance mental health, including improving aspects of our day-to-day lives by building and maintaining healthy relationships. It further addresses the need to enjoy and explore life, be productive and efficient at work, enhance ability to contribute socially, cope with mental pressure, changes and uncertainty, and prevent mental and physical illness. The guide highlights various mental, physical and social needs, which are significant to improving mental health. It also focuses on identifying a network of support, being aware and utilising coping strategies to mitigate circumstances that might cause mental pressure. Additionally, the guide teaches how to communicate clearly about one’s fears with partners, friends and mental health professionals and further accept the fact that an individual will make mistakes and go through difficult situations in life.”
Through this guide, The Department of Community Development showcases the role of relationships in mental health and explores avenues in enhancing one’s relationship with their life partner by strengthening communication. It also reflects on the relationship with children and its impact on the mental health of parents, as well as relationship with co-workers and the significance of maintaining a healthy work relationship through respect, effective communication, confidentiality, trust, self-awareness, and boundaries.