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World Congress of World Association for Psychosocial Rehabilitation discusses COVID-19’s lasting toll on mental health services

ABU DHABI, 16th December, 2021 (WAM) — Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA) has successfully concluded the 14th World Congress of World Association for Psychosocial Rehabilitation (WAPR) and 7th Abu Dhabi International Mental Health Conference. The event was a first on many fronts – it was the first WAPR conference to be held in the Middle East, the first hybrid event in WAPR’s history and its best attended conference.

Held under the theme of ‘Mental Health, Rights, Equity, Recovery and Social Inclusion in Testing Times’, the conference showcased 200 speakers, 21 poster presentations and was attended by 5,000 people online and 780 in person, with delegates traveling from 42 countries. It took place at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Centre in the UAE’s capital.

The conference achieved its objective of igniting a pivotal discussion regarding COVID-19’s lasting toll on mental health services and mental health patients. It also showcased Abu Dhabi’s continual efforts towards the rehabilitation of people living with mental illnesses.

Dr. Nahida Nayaz Ahmed, Consultant Psychiatrist and Chair of Behavioral Health Council at SEHA, said: "The conference was a considerable success and would not have been possible without the relentless support of the UAE government and Abu Dhabi Department of Culture & Tourism. I am exceptionally happy that this event not only served to challenge, inspire, and encourage participants and facilitate crucial discussions surrounding mental health but also showed SEHA’s consistent support towards patients with mental illnesses."

The poster sessions covered a wide range of mental health topics.

The conference had a gamut of rich presentations with representation from three Presidents, present and past, of the World Psychiatric Association. Former Presidents of WAPR and several board members participated in the congress by attending as well as presenting. Professor Michelle Funk represented the World Health Organization at the opening ceremony. In attendance were Professor Murali Thyloth, President of the WAPR Congress and the President of WAPR; Dr. Medhat Elsabbahy, Chair of the Organizing Committee and the Conference; Dr Ghanem Al Hassany, Chair of the Local Scientific Committee; and Dr Nahida Ahmed, member of both Scientific and Organizing committees.

Dr. Ghanem Ali Al Hassani, Chair of Local Scientific Committee and SEHA's Group Education and Research Director, said: "What was fantastic to witness was the rich exposure that the conference provided. The kind of efforts that countries across the world are putting in to support and empower patients with mental illnesses are quite phenomenal. Everything from recent advances in psychosocial rehabilitation to human rights and citizenship for such patients was covered during the event.''

''I am grateful that we at SEHA got a chance to host such an impactful event in addition to providing networking opportunities for professionals. I strongly believe that the kind of discussions that were sparked during the event will enhance the safety and quality of treatment and support provided to patients with mental illnesses."

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Dubai Police warns Against Using Police Emergency Strobe Lights

The Dubai Traffic Police has recently warned motorists against using police and emergency vehicle warning lights, after two vehicles were spotted on the road taking advantage of the exclusive entitlement of the police to be given way in case of emergency.

Colonel Juma bin Suwaidan, Acting Director of the General Traffic Department, urged road users to adhere to traffic laws to avoid facing legal liabilities and prevent endangering their lives and others.

Col bin Suwaidan stated further that the police patrols had impounded two vehicles on two separate occasions for illegally fitting their vehicles with using emergency warning lights similar to the police, giving other motorists a false impression of authority to give way.

“We have spotted one at the Emirates Road and the other at Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road. Reports were filed against the two, and their vehicles were confiscated and fined,” he added.


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Her Highness Sheikha Dr. Shamma bint Mohammed bin Khalid Al Nahyan announces the launch of the “Emirati Miniatures initiative” from the Courtauld Gallery in London.

“Art is the mirror of history and a true reflection of the extent of the civilised development of society.”

I feel a special state of spiritual and intellectual transcendence. ” Her Highness Sheikha Dr. Shamma expressed her conviction in the value of the arts and their being a title for advanced people and civilizations. This statement came during Her Highness’ visit to the Gallery in the British capital, London, at the beginning of her meetings and her visit as part of Her Highness’s cultural and knowledge programme for knowledge and human communication.

The Courtauld Gallery is interested in the history of the arts through different ages and human civilizations, and many of the senior art historians in the British scientific community belong to it. The Museum: Edouard Manet, Vanessa Bell, and Lucas Cranach (Painting of Adam and Eve), as well as the French artist Pierre Auguste Renoir, the Dutch artist Van Gogh, and many other artists.

Her Highness and the accompanying delegation were welcomed by Professor Deborah Salo, Director of the College; Dr. Karen Sears; Mrs. Francesca Hoyt and Mrs. Camilla Knight, where Her Highness and the accompanying delegation accompanied Professor Debrois on a tour between the various pavilions of the museum and the exhibition.

Her Highness held a meeting with the director of the gallery and the work team, where she thanked and appreciated them for their good reception. During the meeting, ways of cooperation between Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalid Al Nahyan’s cultural and educational institutions and between the Courtauld institutes were discussed, and experiences were exchanged in the field of presenting. There were lectures and technical workshops between the Emirati technical cadres and the technical cadres of the college, and Her Highness announced during the meeting the launching of the (Emirati Miniatures) initiative, which will be launched next October. It is an initiative dedicated to Emirati artists, using palm fronds as a basis for drawing accurate artistic miniatures that express the Emirati and human heritage. Her Highness invited them to attend the exhibition of the artworks participating in the initiative. Professor Deborah was very impressed with the idea of the initiative, especially the use of date palms, as they represent a heritage value in desert communities.

At the end of the meeting, Her Highness gifted the college a set of publications that talk about art in the United Arab Emirates, as part of the (Knowledge for Humanity) initiative launched by Her Highness last year, which aims to make the world know the Emirati civilization and its ancient folk heritage by donating museums and universities. To be among its holdings, with knowledge sources of books and technological means that define the UAE between the past, present, and future.

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Breaking / Federal Supreme Council elects Mohamed bin Zayed as UAE President

ABU DHABI, 14th May, 2022 (WAM) — The Federal Supreme Council today unanimously elected His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan as President of the United Arab Emirates.

The Council held a meeting today at Al Mushrif Palace in Abu Dhabi, chaired by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.

The meeting was attended by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan; H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah; H.H. Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ajman; H.H. Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Fujairah; H.H. Sheikh Saud bin Rashid Al Mu’alla, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Umm Al Qaiwain; and H.H. Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah.

A statement issued by the Ministry of Presidential Affairs said that according to Article 51 of the Constitution, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan was unanimously elected as the President of the UAE to succeed the late Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Their Highnesses, the Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates have reaffirmed their keenness to continue implementing the authentic values and principles laid down by the late deceased, Sheikh Khalifa, following on from the founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. These have consolidated the UAE’s status at both regional and global levels.

The Federal Supreme Council expressed its full confidence that the people of the UAE will remain, as Sheikh Zayed and the founders believed, “a faithful guardian of the Union and its gains at all levels”.

Their Highnesses wished H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan success in serving his people and country.

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed expressed his appreciation for the precious trust placed in him by his brothers, Their Highnesses the Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates, praying to the Almighty to guide and help him to bear the responsibility of this great trust and to fulfil its tasks of serving his country and people.


WAM/Rola Alghoul/Esraa Ismail

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