How the U.A.E is improving mental health the workplace

10.02.23 11:10 AM By Reiss Young

How the U.A.E is Improving Mental Health in the Workplace

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The United Arab Emirates (U.A.E) has taken a number of steps to ensure that mental health and well-being are given the attention they deserve in the workplace. In recent years, companies across the UAE have stepped up their efforts to support employees’ mental health, from introducing policies and initiatives to providing access to professional counseling services. In this article, we take a look at how the UAE is supporting mental health in the workplace. 

Mental Health Policies & Initiatives 

The UAE understands that mental health affects everyone differently, so they are taking steps to make sure that there are support systems in place for those who need them. The government has implemented a number of initiatives to promote awareness about mental health among employers and employees alike. 

The government of Dubai recently launched an initiative called ‘My Mind Matters’ which aims to raise awareness about mental health issues among Emirati's and expats living in Dubai. The initiative encourages employers to create a safe and supportive environment for their employees. Many organisations across the U.A.E have adopted mental health policies that provide guidance on how to best manage mental health issues in the workplace.

These policies often include measures such as providing employees with flexible working hours, setting clear expectations for workloads and performance, and offering employees access to Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs). EAPs are designed to provide employees with support through personalised counseling sessions when needed. Some companies have also introduced initiatives such as mindfulness classes or yoga sessions, which allow employees to take time out during their workday for relaxation and reflection. By doing so, companies hope that these activities will help reduce stress levels among their staff members. 

The government also works with local NGOs (Non-Government Organisations) such as 'Counseling Abu Dhabi' (CAD), which offers free counseling sessions for individuals suffering from depression, anxiety, or any other form of mental illness. The organisation also provides workshops and events on topics such as mindfulness and self-care which aim to create an open dialogue around mental health in society and reduce the stigma surrounding it. 

Well-Being Days

The U.A.E also hosts a series of annual “well-being days." On these days, employees are invited to attend workshops that focus on topics like managing anxiety and depression, preventing burnout, and improving self-confidence. These events not only give employees an opportunity to learn more about their own mental well-being but also allow them to connect with people who are going through similar experiences. 

The government offers incentives for companies that take part in their initiatives by introducing tax breaks or other financial benefits. For example, some companies offer extra leave days for employees who have been diagnosed with a condition related to mental illness or free counseling sessions for those struggling with stress or anxiety. These incentives encourage companies to prioritise their employee’s well-being and reinforce the idea that mental health should be taken seriously within any organisation. 

PWC Middle East is leading by example, showing the consulting industry meaningful initiatives for their employees. This has been demonstrated through their blackout day, which incentivises their staff to take more than five consecutive days of leave and encourages a balanced living for mental health and well-being. In addition, PWC Middle East has allocated a large budget of millions for digital up-skilling in order to cultivate an environment where consulting meets innovation.

Mental Health Awareness Training 

The U.A.E has developed many initiatives and programs geared towards raising awareness about mental health issues in the workplace. These include providing mandatory training for all employers on how to recognise warning signs of stress, anxiety, and depression among their employees. This training also covers topics such as effective communication strategies, conflict resolution techniques, and strategies for reducing stress levels at work. 

Rounding Up

The U.A.E is actively working towards improving the mental health of its citizens by introducing initiatives at both the governmental level and within businesses themselves. By providing financial benefits for employers who prioritise their employees' well-being while conducting awareness campaigns coupled with NGO-led activities aimed at reducing the stigma surrounding mental illnesses, the UAE is slowly but surely creating a better environment where people feel comfortable speaking out about their personal struggles without fear of judgment or repercussions. This will result in improved productivity levels among workers while ensuring that adequate support is received when needed. Ultimately, this will benefit everyone involved, from employers who have happier staff members to individuals whose lives have been improved due to better access to resources related to mental wellness.

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