The Ministry of Community Development, MoCD, has launched four interactive channels under a new initiative named ‘Taaluf’ to provide family counselling for free to all UAE community members.
In a statement, the Ministry said that the launch of the counselling initiative aims to mitigate the psychosocial and mental health impacts of COVID-19 on individuals during home quarantines and social distancing.
Commenting on the announcement, Hessa Tahlak, Assistant Under-Secretary for Social Development at the Ministry, said that the ‘Taaluf’ family counselling initiative; with its four new interactive channels, promotes the stability, cohesion and coherence of the family, the foundation of any community, and seeks to achieve a better family reality and a more beautiful social life. It focuses on interaction and dialogue to disseminate knowledge, guidance and make consultation easier and faster, reaching out to all members of the UAE community.
Tahlak added that the initiative is available 24/7, and takes into account an individual’s privacy and confidentiality. She explained that Taaluf is an important tool for individuals to utilise during times where home quarantine and social distancing practices are being applied.
The family counselling initiative assists individuals, Tahlak noted, by providing advice and guidance, creating a space for positive mental health and behavioural practices during global COVID-19 developments.
The four interactive services provided by MoCD include the Taaluf hotline 800623, available daily from 09:00 to 21:00 except on Fridays and Saturdays, as well as video calls via WhatsApp (individuals need to register for an appointment on the Ministry website to use this feature). Taaluf is also available 24/7 on the ministry website, and weekly live streaming services via the Ministry’s Instagram account (@mocduae) will be available to members of the public.
The World Health Organisation, WHO, has advised that managing mental health and psychosocial well-being during this time is as important as managing an individual’s physical health.