The Estijaba helpline is a free-of-cost service available six days a week, from Sunday to Friday, between 8am and 6pm. Picture for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA) has partnered with the Department of Community Development (DCD) and Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre (ADPHC) to jointly enhance the psychological support to customers through the helpline — Estijaba — for the emirate of Abu Dhabi.

The psychological support services were initiated in 2021 as services added to the package of services provided in relation to the response to COVID-19 pandemic through the Estijaba helpline.

The Estijaba helpline 8001717, will continue to provide psychological support services through SEHA’s staff members over the telephone. The helpline is to address psychological distress calls, including emergencies in the community. It is a free-of-cost service available six days a week, from Sunday to Friday, between 8am and 6pm.

Ensuring complete anonymity of the caller

The psychological support helpline is being enhanced and further supported through SEHA to provide the community with safe and accessible consultations that address their mental health matters without the caller worrying about the cost and ensures complete anonymity of the caller. SEHA deploys the hotline counsellors to offer psychological interventions to all community callers, seeking support.

SEHA aims to provide a safe, non-judgemental, anonymous and empathetic environment through the call. As a community resource, the service is available to address psychological concerns, emergencies related to mental health and psychiatric crises through telephone calls.

Facilitating psychiatric hospitalisations

Services offered range from telephone counselling to referrals to mental health services within the SEHA network, including outpatient psychiatric clinics and or the emergency department and facilitate psychiatric hospitalisations as needed.

Saeed Jaber Al Kuwaiti, the group chief executive officer at SEHA, said: “To bridge the current gap in mental health services, we are collaborating with DCD and ADPHC to deliver high-quality psychological support via a telephone helpline. It is not only a mean to access instant counselling in times of psychological distress, but also a channel to navigate the health services to access SEHA’s highly specialised outpatient psychiatric services and a resource for swift crisis intervention. For those suffering in silence, we encourage you to reach out, choose support and choose to call”

Prompt interventions through the hotline are expected to reduce emergency room waiting time and hospital stay, increase access to mental health services on time and enhance the overall quality of care.