Dr Hussain Al Rand with other officials at a workshop to train educators and healthcare workers on children’s mental health. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has trained a number of educators and healthcare workers on children’s mental health.

The training was organised in cooperation with the World Health Organisation (WHO), and saw the attendance of nursing staff, teachers, psychologists, and social workers.

Dr Hussain Al Rand, assistant undersecretary for the public health at the MoHAP, attended the training, along with Dr Nada Al Marzouqi, MoHAP director for public health and prevention; Dr Suad Al Awar, MoHAP head of family health; Dr Hisham Hammouda from Emirates School Establishment, and Dr Iman Jaber from the World Health Organisation.

Training goals

The event aimed to enhance trainees’ skills to spot psychological and behavioural problems among school students, and to enable them to detect early any cases that need extra attention and care. Attendees were also trained to enhance children’s positive behaviours, and to counsel children when needed. A series of global and regional mental health concerns were also highlighted.

Dr Al Rand stressed that the MoHAP prioritises the mental health of schoolchildren, and is therefore making every effort to develop school health policies and programmes that support and promote their physical and psychological growth and development.

“We have organised the workshop to unify national efforts to improve the health and safety of students. Through this training workshop, we look forward to improving the mental health and behavioural skills of school pupils across the country,” he added.

“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,” Dr Al Marzouqi said.

From 2017 to 2019, the MoHAP worked with the Ministry of Education to organise 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 shared the knowledge with 917 co-workers.