This comes as part of Mohap’s commitment towards achieving social, psychological, and professional empowerment for patients.
Virtual psychiatric clinics as well as pharmacies and psychological counselling helpline are some of mental health services that the Ministry of Health and Prevention (Mohap) has rolled out in response to Covid-19 pandemic. It has developed effective smart systems that offer therapeutic, preventive and mental health rehabilitation services in innovative ways. The ministry has also been upgrading information systems, collecting and using statistical data, and conducting scientific research in the mental health.
These assume more importance as the World Mental Health Day is marked today. According to World Health Organisation (WHO), this year’s theme is ‘Mental Health for All – Greater Investment – Greater Access. Everyone, everywhere”, with the aim to exert further efforts to create mental health systems that are consistent with the present and the future.
Over 2,000 psychological counsellings
With over 2,112 counsellings since April this year, the psychological counselling helpline service ‘Talk, We Do Hear You’ has offered advise and psychological support to people and those infected with or suspected of Covid-19, as well as the frontline health workers.
When it comes to psychiatric emergency services, the ministry has formed multidisciplinary teams including psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers to provide 24/7 service to all the infected cases or those suspected or quarantined in all Mohap’s facilities, in accordance with the best international standards and practices.
Dr Youssif Al Serkal, director-general of the Emirates Health Services Corporation, said: “World Mental Health Day is a perfect opportunity for highlighting the tremendous efforts of Mohap to offer uninterrupted mental health services during Covid-19. The ministry was keen to develop the telepsychiatry and telemental health services through the psychological counselling helpline service and the launch of relevant virtual clinics.”
This comes as part of Mohap’s commitment to achieving social, psychological, and professional empowerment for patients, promoting preventive mental health programmes and early detection of mental illnesses, and developing societal psychological services for children, adolescents, and senior citizens.
Dr Mona Al Kuwari, director of the specialised care department, said: “Since the emergence of Covid-19, the ministry has developed telepsychiatry services in its hospitals and Al Amal Psychiatric Hospital to enable the patient to obtain psychiatric services through the smart systems without the need to visit the health facility.”
She added: “Mohap has included its telepsychiatry services in the virtual clinic smart app and linked it to ‘Wareed’ health information system, so that patients can book a remote appointment with the attending team. The number of psychological counselling via telepsychiatry service has reached about 5,672 consultations and treatment sessions from April to October.”
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