Abu Dhabi (Etihad)
The Emirates Foundation and BP signed an agreement to support the “Psychological Support Line” initiative to enhance the mental health of frontline workers, in cooperation with the National Program for Happiness and Wellbeing of the Ministry of Community Development, the National Pride Office, and the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company “SEHA”. Abu Dhabi Center for Public Health.
The agreement, which was signed during a virtual ceremony attended by representatives of the concerned institutions, will provide funding for the psychological support line, as it aims to enhance the effectiveness of the line through cooperation to exchange knowledge and experiences in the field of social responsibility, and to enhance the benefit of the psychological support line (800 HOPE), which provides its services daily from From 08:00 in the morning until 20:00 in the evening in Arabic and English. Users can also communicate via WhatsApp using the same number.
The psychological support line has received more than 1,900 calls since its launch during the past year 2020 until now, and the initiative provides valuable psychological first aid to citizens and residents working on the front lines in the United Arab Emirates, through more than 50 specially trained volunteers, and links them to the field of mental health.
Hessa Tahlak, Assistant Undersecretary for Social Development Affairs at the Ministry of Community Development, the official spokesperson for the “Emirates Volunteers” campaign, stressed the importance of the psychological support line initiative in psychologically supporting all members of society of different ages and groups, due to the importance of this aspect specifically during the pandemic period and beyond, given the magnitude of the pressures that The individual may be exposed to it in situations that require standing by him and providing psychological and moral support to him within the framework of the commitment to promoting mental health and improving the quality of life of the individual, family and society in general.
She said that the Psychological Support Line initiative urgently provides the necessary moral support to people who need psychological support, within the framework of an institutional and community partnership that reflects everyone’s concern for everyone, appreciating at the same time the value of the tasks performed by volunteers in this initiative, and the importance of the role of the private sector in promoting Community programs and initiatives in general. She valued the partnerships that are currently being embodied between the parties to the “psychological support line” initiative and specialized agencies, and community solidarity at the level of the private and private sectors in the framework of supporting government projects, ensuring the sustainability of work and achieving community-wide benefit.
For his part, Muhanna Al Muhairi, Executive Director of Operations at the Emirates Foundation, said: “The agreement signed with BP will give a strong boost to the current support mechanisms for health workers and others facing the challenges arising from the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Al Muhairi added: “The free support line (800 HOPE) is designed to give people access to psychological first aid in complete secrecy, so we are pleased to work closely with BP on this project, which aims to ensure the availability of fully trained volunteers who specialize in Mental health, and an advisory board that includes eminent psychologists ready to provide the necessary support, as many frontline workers feel that COVID-19 has negatively affected their mental health, so it is very reassuring that the Emirates Foundation, its partners and volunteers provide this wonderful and unique service, At a time of heightened tension, anxiety and stress, giving our frontline heroes a safe place to speak.”
Salem bin Achour, BP Vice President, said: “Mental health is an essential part of the health safety of the individual and is one of the important goals on BP’s agenda because it affects everyone, and its importance must be spread, especially in the main practices in the workplace, which In turn, it reflects positively on the performance of the work to become more feasible. Mental health is about how we think, feel, and act, and by developing initiatives that find healthy ways to manage our thoughts and feelings we will be able to stimulate our ability to act positively to do the best we can, just like physical health. I am very happy with this cooperation with the Ministry of Community Development and the Emirates Foundation to support the mental health and well-being of employees and people, during the Corona pandemic and beyond.”
It is worth noting that the Emirates Foundation is an independent national institution that works in partnership with the public and private sectors to respond to the most pressing challenges. It has fully trained Psychological Support Line volunteers to perform their work confidentially, ensuring privacy for people seeking help. The (800 HOPE) service provides a confidential and secure experience over the phone for people affected, directly and indirectly, by the “Covid-19” pandemic.
The “Psychological Support Line” initiative, to promote the mental health of front-line workers, is one of the specialized volunteer opportunities that are being organized and supported through the national campaign “UAE Volunteers”, which was announced by the Supreme National Committee for Organizing Volunteering during Crises, which was launched more than a year ago. In early April 2020, under the umbrella of the “Volunteers.ae” platform, in partnership between the Ministry of Community Development and the Emirates Foundation for Youth Development, and under the supervision of the National Authority for Emergency, Crisis and Disaster Management, as part of its vision to unify volunteer activities at the state level, and enhance integration and cooperation between all government and private sectors And community participation within the context of confirming cohesion and cooperation in the UAE, and supporting national efforts to confront the spread of “Covid 19”.
The “Emirates Volunteers” campaign aims to harness the experiences, skills and talents of community members and involve them in the volunteering process, through two types of volunteering, field and virtual, and within an integrated and sustainable system for volunteer work in the country during crises.