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DFDC, FDF Hold Joint Webinar on Managing Stress and Anxiety Amid COVID-19

Saturday, May 23, 2020/ Editor -  

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Sharjah, May 23, 2020:

The Department of Family Development Centers (DFDC) of the institutions of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs in Sharjah recently organized, in cooperation with the Family Development Foundation in Abu Dhabi (FDF) a webinar entitled “Bode well … Eid Mubarak”.


This comes as part of the DFDC’s keenness to enhance cooperation and coordination with the social-sector-related authorities and institutions to bolster the UAE’s efforts in countering the repercussions of the new Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.


The even falls under the virtual social campaign “Bode Well” launched by Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation “Mother of the Nation”, and it aims to enhance the mental health of community members and to instill optimism and positivity among families and elevate their capabilities to overcome COVID-19 pandemic.


Some 139 participants from the DFDC employees and community members took part in the event which was presented by Dr. Bennah Youssef Bouzoun, Bahraini Psychiatrist who touched on ways of effective self-management and the ability to relieve and control life pressure, through achieving adaptation to challenges and crises to minimizing their negative effects.


The virtual workshop also highlighted the concept of psychological disorders and their types and the mechanism to reduce their rates by enhancing mental and behavioral skills to achieve balance and self-harmony and family cohesion.


Strengthening mental health


Her Excellency Moudhi Al Shamsi, Head of Department of Family Development Centres, pointed to the importance of the webinar in enhancing the mental health of community members, reducing the possible psychological repercussions of COVID-19, and supporting recovery efforts led by the government of the UAE in preparation for the post-COVID-19 era, 


Al Shamsi stressed that DFDC Sharjah, pursuant to the implementation of the visions and directives of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah and Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs in Sharjah, is keen to launch programs and initiatives aimed primarily at protecting and supporting the family to meet all challenge and to support them to remain stable and cohesive.


Innovative initiatives


She pointed out that the current stage is exceptional in its effects and repercussions on family members, something that requires the development of innovative tools to help them overcome the psychological consequences of this global crisis, underlining DFDC’s keenness to tailor educational and awareness programs that suit the current stager, through the optimal investment of human resources and advanced technology infrastructure, as well as the effective partnership with various governmental and private entities and institutions. These efforts would help spread positive family culture.


Al Shamsi thanked the Family Development Foundation for their relentless efforts in organizing and making this webinar successful.


Turning challenges into opportunities


The two-hour webinar witnessed a remarkable interaction from the attendees who debated over the positive side of challenges and crises and their role in refining human experiences and helping them enhance self-confidence by turning challenges into opportunities.


 Dr. Bennah Youssef Bouzoun explained that anxiety occurs naturally when we feel distressed. This feeling can play a positive role in life by motivating us to develop our skills and abilities to overcome the challenges that cause this anxiety, pointing to the importance of managing stress in order to avoid vulnerability to anxiety disorders, which is more common than any other mental health disorders. 


Bouzoun highlighted the common symptoms of anxiety disorders, including panic and fear, obsessive behaviors, such as sleeping difficulties, cold hands or sweating hands, shortness of breath, and inability to sit and relax.


Impacts of anxiety disorders


Dr. Bouzoun also mentioned the effect of excessive anxiety disorders on the physical health, especially on the immune system, where anxiety affects the role of lymphocytes in fighting infections and inflammation which reduce the efficiency of the immune system, and slow down the recovery time, pointing to the methods to manage anxiety and reduce its negative effects by maintaining physical activity, adopting healthy lifestyles and getting enough sleep, using relaxation methods, getting rid of negativity and thinking positively, and avoiding negative and bad news media.


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