Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, December 19, 2019: With the participation of 13 government entities, the Health Promotion Department at the Supreme Council for Family Affairs in Sharjah, SCFA, today (Wednesday) organized an awareness exhibition entitled “Towards a Healthy Life for Children & Adolescents”.
Held at the Sharjah Girl Guides, the two-day event falls within the initiatives of the “Healthy Schools” program and aims to raise students' and individuals’ mental, social and health awareness.
Present at the opening ceremony were HE Iman Rashid Saif, Director of the Health Promotion Department, Aisha Saif Alsiri, Director of Health and Physical Fitness, Ministry of Education, and Sheikha Al Shamsi, Director of the Sharjah Girl Guides, as well as a number of members of the Executive Committee of the Healthy Schools Program, strategic partners and supporters.
A series of workshops and awareness-raising lectures have been held on the sidelines of the event and were delivered by a group of specialists. Visitors were also provided with psychological, social and legal consultations on how to protect children, take care of their psychological health, whether inside their home or at school, and report any abuses they may be exposed to.
Additionally, the event saw the distribution of educational and awareness brochures on the health and safety of children and adolescents, and the most important safety and security measures that parents must follow to protect their children. This is besides other entertainment and awareness activities.
Achieving the Standards of Healthy Schools Program
“The event ‘Towards a Healthy Life for Children & Adolescents’ is part of the Department’s keenness on the success of Healthy Schools Program and realizing its objectives, pursuant to the 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, who pays great attention to the physical and mental health of students and that they should be properly prepared for facing the future,” said HE Iman Rashid Saif.
She noted: “This event would help achieve the standards and objectives of Healthy Schools Program in the Emirate of Sharjah, in terms of raising health awareness of community members in general, and the students, their parents and the teaching staff in particular. This in addition to providing psychological safety and health care for the students and implementing the principles and ways of boosting the public health for children and adolescents in a way that ensures their right to life and strengthens their health conditions to the highest possible levels.”
A Special Focus on Mental Health
The Director of the Health Promotion Department explained that the event is mainly focusing on the students’ mental health which represents an integral part of the physical health, in addition to its great impact on the learning and performance of students, stressing that ideal mental health boosts the student's self-confidence and his ability to achieve the success in school and society.
She concluded that the event will shed light on the entire negative aspects affecting the mental health of students and how to deal with them, by adopting healthy behaviors and lifestyles to enhance the mental health of the students in the Emirate of Sharjah.
Treatment of Negative Impacts of Bullying in Schools
Additionally, the exhibition featured a special lecture entitled “Bullying”, through which all types of bullying were explained and its effects on physical health, such as bruising, headache, stomach pain and difficulties in sleeping, in addition to the psychological impact of bullying, especially depression and suicidal ideation.
The lecture also focused on methods of how to deal with bullying in children through continuous communication and to be alert to the changes in his behaviors, school performance and his reluctance to go to school.
Another awareness workshop was held under the name “Nurture your Mind”, through which the best practices for fostering and elevating mental health have been touched on. This can be achieved by motivating students to exercise, adopt a healthy and a balanced diet, take vitamin D, avoid stress during study alongside enough sleep, and practice mind games such as reading and solving puzzles.
On the second day of the event, some awareness workshops will be held on the negative effects of smoking and the importance of mental health for students, in addition to providing free medical checkups, entertainment shows, and handing out gifts to the participants.