The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has organized a training workshop on school student’s mental health in cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO) and various health and educational bodies and authorities in the country.
Themed "Training of Trainers on Mental Health of School Students,” the workshop targeted nursing staff, teachers, psychologists, and social workers and discussed global strategies designed to promote mental health among students.
The gathering was attended by HE Dr. Hussain Abdul Rahman Al Rand, Assistant Under-Secretary for the Public Health Sector; Dr. Nada Al Marzouqi, Director of the Public Health and Prevention Department; Dr. Suad Al Awar, Head of the Family Health Department at the Ministry; Khalil Al Hosani, from Emirates School Establishment; and Dr. Hisham Hammouda and Dr. Iman Jaber, from the World Health Organization.
The event aimed to enhance trainers’ skills to spot psychological and behavioral problems among school students in order to early detect cases that need extra attention and care and provide necessary interventions.
Additionally, it sought to educate the target audience on methods for enhancing kids' behavioral abilities and mental health as well as how to properly counsel and assist them in order to enhance mental health in the classroom.
The workshop also included a set of lectures that shed light on global and regional programs designed to promote school mental health, and highlight the impact of mental health on childhood development.
School Health Programs
Dr. Hussain Al Rand stressed that the Ministry of Health and Prevention pays utmost attention to the mental health of school students and is therefore making every effort to develop school health policies and programs that support and promote their physical and psychological growth and development.
"We have organized the workshop to unify national efforts being made to improve the health and safety of students," Al Rand said, adding that scientific evidence is increasingly emphasizing the existence of a close association between mental health and educational performance.
"Through this training workshop, we look forward to rehabilitating the health and educational personnel in schools, who will be able to improve the mental health and behavioral skills of school pupils across the country, and raise generations that enjoy a dignified and sustainable life and achieve active participation in society," Al Rand noted.
Prioritizing School Health
For her part, Dr. Nada Al Marzouqi said that school health has always been one of the top priorities of the national health system so as to upgrade the health and safety of students. She also noted that taking care of children's and adolescents' mental health is a fundamental and crucial requirement for making investments in the future and achieving sustainable development in society.
“The workshop that we’ve held today is very important. In addition to strengthening the capacities of mental health and social workers in schools, it will help develop their skills in identifying the challenges facing students and the conditions that lead to psychological disorders and learning difficulties, Al Marzouqi added.
From 2017 to 2019, the Ministry of Health worked with the Ministry of Education to organize a number of training courses on promoting mental health among schoolchildren. During these sessions, 46 members of the health and educational staff received training, and they then passed that knowledge along to their 917 coworkers.