Abu Dhabi: To mark this year’s Children’s Mental Health Week (February 07-14), Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA), the UAE’s largest healthcare network, has stressed the importance of paying close attention to young people’s psychological needs. Sheikh Khalifa Medical City provides quality mental health care for children and adolescents to encourage a healthy dialogue and aid patients on the road to acceptance, treatment and the chance to lead a full and active life.

Mental health specialists at SKMC point to the case of a 17-year-old Arab girl who has been under treatment since age 9 when doctors diagnosed that she was suffering from Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Prior to seeking professional medical help and advice, the teenager had been criticized and bullied since kindergarten for being unable to maintain her attention and focus. She regularly made mistakes, was forgetful, disorganized and often lost things. The girl struggled to follow through with instructions, which negatively impacted her academic performance, self-confidence and friendships.

After her parents sought treatment at SKMC, doctors were able to recognize signs of ADHD. Once the disorder was addressed and treatment ensued, the girl’s quality of life changed dramatically. Her school performance improved and, as testament to the success of the treatment, she will soon graduate and attend classes at her dream college.

“ADHD is a common mental health condition that can cause inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. This can make studying difficult, and we see many young people with ADHD struggle in school, get lower test scores and fall behind. This can negatively affect their self-esteem, relationships and social skills. With the right support and treatment, alongside compassion and empathy, symptoms can be reduced and school performance improved,” said Dr. Salwa Al Hosani, Consultant Physician at SKMC.

The teenager said: “I always felt misunderstood, judged and alienated. Growing up I felt incredibly left-out, but that changed after the doctors’ diagnosis and the start of treatment. The difference was noticeable, with my ability to focus and self-confidence increasing, which rippled into my education, social life and hobbies. My message to parents is if you suspect your child is different, distracted or has trouble making friends, please seek a professional opinion and always ensure they feel loved and accepted, the way my parents did for me. Next fall, I’ll begin my first semester at college, all thanks to a doctor’s visit that took place almost a decade ago.”

SKMC is the largest mental health service provider and the only mental health inpatient service in Abu Dhabi. A referral center for both SEHA and non-SEHA facilities, it offers the most extensive psychiatric specialties and subspecialties and has the largest inpatient psychiatric unit in the emirate, consisting of 123 beds. An outpatient service provides the highest quality child and adolescent psychiatry care to patients under 18.

Other services available include diagnosis and tracking of patients with neurodevelopmental disorders and anxiety, psychotic, depressive and mood disorders as well as providing psychological treatments, social services and expert opinion for youngsters referred by schools. SKMC follows a multi-disciplinary approach through psychopharmacology, psychology, social worker and occupational therapy.

To find out more about SKMC’S Mental Health Services, please book an appointment by calling 800 50.


About SEHA:

The Abu Dhabi Health Services Company PJSC–SEHA – is an independent, public joint stock company created to develop the curative activities of the public healthcare system in Abu Dhabi. The company owns and operates all the public hospitals and clinics of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

SEHA is part of ADQ, one of the region’s largest holding companies with a broad portfolio of major enterprises spanning key sectors of Abu Dhabi’s diversified economy.

SEHA is committed to continuous improvement of customer care to recognized international standards and providing the community with world-class healthcare. SEHA operates 14 hospitals with over 3,385 beds, 70 ambulatory care, family care and urgent care centers and 3 blood banks. Its facilities accommodate 117,162 inpatients annually and conduct 43,262 surgeries, as well as treating more than five million outpatients.

SEHA is one of the largest integrated healthcare providers in the Middle East with more than 14,000 doctors, nurses, ancillary care, and administrative personnel. Learn more at www.seha.ae 

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