MoHAP, EHS hold Mental Health Innovation Lab

DUBAI, The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) and the Emirates Health Services (EHS) held the Mental Health Innovation Lab, under the theme “Driving progress towards a sustainable and scalable model of mental health care”.

The event was held in partnership with Janssen, one of the pharmaceutical companies of Johnson and Johnson, and aimed to discuss and present an innovative approach to mental health care in the UAE, as well as to shape policies that would bring about effective change in the next fifty years according to a future vision that achieves a healthier and happier society.

The innovation lab, which coincides with Mental Health Awareness Month, was attended by Dr. Hussein Abdul Rahman Al Rand, Assistant Under-Secretary for the Public Health Sector at MoHAP, and active participation of the World Health Organisation, most health authorities in the country, and representatives from the education sector, insurance and health service providers.

The lab’s mission is to bring together leaders and experts to collaborate and achieve a common goal of supporting mental health and wellness in a sustainable way, by integrating care and promoting intersectoral action and collaboration in mental health, to establish evidence-based standards.

The exchange of experiences and the sharing of insights on the priorities of the updated mental health policy constitutes a reference guide at the level of the country and the Middle East.

Within the framework of multisectoral cooperation, and accelerating the response in this regard, the ministry has developed the “National Policy for the Promotion of Mental Health in the UAE” which was issued by the UAE Cabinet in 2017.

The policy adopts a human rights-based approach in line with the National Health Strategy, the UAE Vision 2021, the UAE Centennial 2071 and the next 50-year plan.

The policy is founded on a set of values and principles, including; empowerment, equity and acceptance where all stakeholders will be empowered, by ensuring their right to access acceptable and accessible services.

Dr. Hussein Abdul Rahman Al Rand pointed out that the ministry works hand in hand with its partners to implement the national policy initiatives to promote mental health, in accordance with strategic goals, with the aim to develop comprehensive, integrated, and mental health services responsive to the needs and directed to the community of all groups and ages, consolidate multi-sectoral cooperation between stakeholders, strengthen the prevention of mental illness, raise capabilities and improve information systems, and conduct research on psychological services in order to develop them, so as to enhance the integration of patients into society and improve their quality of life to achieve the well-being of society.

Dr. Noor Al Muhairi, Director of Mental Health Department, EHS, stressed the importance of holding the innovation lab with wide participation, which enhances the state’s comprehensive efforts to develop the scope of integrated mental health services that respond to the current needs and are directed to the community.

Jamie Pharis, Managing Director of Janssen in the Gulf region, said, “We are pleased to join forces with MoHAP and EHS to spread awareness and develop programs and solutions to tackle mental health challenges in the UAE. This is part of our commitment to developing neuroscience and mental health research with a view to improving mental health practices and solutions and improving methods of preventing, diagnosing and treating mental health disorders, by building on its innovative approach and using the latest technologies.”

Source: Emirates News Agency