Dubai, UAE: Middlesex University (MDX) Dubai has renewed its commitment to breaking the stigma around mental health by launching the mdxMindset Talks initiative, a series of inclusive and enlightening wellbeing workshops for students, parents, educators and the wider community.
In their June 2022 World Mental Health Report, the World Health Organisation suggested there was a 25% global growth in anxiety and depressive disorders during the first year of the pandemic alone. Recent research by Spotify has also suggested that today’s young people are in need of practical tools for addressing mental health issues, with Gen Z more anxious and stressed than their predecessors.
By tackling topics that are seldom addressed in a public setting, the University hopes that mdxMindset Talks will push forward a climate of frank and open discussion on the topic of mental wellbeing in the UAE and beyond.
Impactful conversations led by global experts
The mdxMindset Talks series invites a carefully curated schedule of speakers from both the University and external organisations to instigate pressing and meaningful conversations that challenge perceptions and myths about a range of mental health-related subjects. Led by the MDX Wellness Office, these progressive talks, conducted in a comfortable and safeguarded environment in person at the University’s campus and online, aim to encourage participants to evaluate their mental health needs.
“It is our hope that mdxMindset Talks will allow for honest discussion about topics that affect many of us, breaking down boundaries to help our students, staff, parents and community openly access the right support," says Mariam Abonil, Senior Lecturer, International Foundation Programme and Forensic Psychology and Head of the MDX Wellness Office.
The first mdxMindset Talks session took place on Thursday 20 October and featured an interactive workshop on social anxiety led by Hima Mammen, a counselling psychologist at the Dubai-based Human Relations Institute and Clinics. Hima explored the concept of post-pandemic social anxiety from a psychological perspective and shared techniques for how attendees can mitigate its impact on their daily lives.
In line with International Men’s Day on Sunday 19 November, the next session taking place on Thursday 24 November will focus on encouraging open conversation around men’s mental health. Moderated by Middlesex student Sheldon Lobo, the panel will feature insights from Adil Hussain, Wellbeing Coach, Founder of BrotherhoodDXB, and Co-Host of the Men-tality podcast, alongside Andrew Mackenzie, Head of Institute of Sustainable Development, Middlesex University Dubai and Nora Tahir, Mental Health Counsellor, Middlesex University Dubai.
Future sessions intend to tackle other important topics such as eating disorders, unhealthy relationships, and conflict and mental health. Students, staff, faculty and the wider community are invited to attend the sessions in person or online.
Innovative mental health content platform
In conjunction with the mdxMindset Talks initiative, the University has launched its accompanying mdxMindset blog. Featuring a range of informative and thought-provoking content from University staff and student contributors, the blog is an interactive online space designed for sharing wellness stories, science, research, and practical and achievable support strategies.
"The goal of the mdxMindset blog is to allow people to nurture wellness in their everyday lives and routines through easy-to-integrate techniques with a solid scientific underpinning. We hope the evergreen content of the blog will facilitate improved wellbeing for years to come, even after students graduate or staff move on to new posts," says Dr Lynda Hyland, Senior Lecturer in Psychology and MDX Wellness Office Member.
Providing wellbeing support for all students
Building upon the University's desire to foster an integrated wellness culture across the campus, the introduction of the mdxMindset Talks series alongside the mdxMindset blog provides an effortless route to accessing mental health advice and support whenever it is needed.
In addition to promoting excellent lines of communication surrounding the mental health and wellbeing needs of Gen Z and beyond, MDX Dubai has ensured that there is a solid foundation in place to allow students to access the right support. The University’s Centre for Academic Success (CAS) provides a wide range of support, including a Wellness Support Group, Mental Health Counsellor offering free counselling sessions, Inclusion Counsellor for students with learning disabilities, and dedicated support for students under the age of 18.
The mdxMindset Talks series is taking place every month throughout the academic year. To learn more about upcoming sessions, please visit https://www.mdx.ac.ae/mdxmindset-talks.
About Middlesex University Dubai:
Middlesex University Dubai is the first overseas campus of the renowned Middlesex University based in London, UK. The University’s first learning space in Dubai opened at Dubai Knowledge Park (DKP) in 2005 and has over 4,500 students studying from more than 118 nationalities. It is an exciting, diverse and multicultural campus that prides itself on providing a student experience with a difference. As a testament to the growth and success of its thriving international student community, the University opened a second campus location in Dubai International Academic City (DIAC) in September 2021.
The University offers a wide range of foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate programmes across both locations, including: Accounting and Finance, Business Management, Marketing, Computer Engineering, IT, Data Science, Robotics, Education, Psychology, Law, Digital Media, Film, Creative Writing and Journalism, Fashion Design, Graphic Design, and many more. As well as having all the advantages associated with being a world-class British university, students at both Middlesex University Dubai campuses can benefit from all the opportunities afforded by a rapidly-developing modern city in the heart of the Middle East, while experiencing the diverse nationalities and cultures that make up the population of Dubai.
Middlesex University is a global university committed to meeting the needs and ambitions of a culturally and internationally diverse range of students, by providing challenging academic programmes underpinned by innovative research, grants and professional practice. Middlesex University Dubai prepares its students to be professional, skilled individuals fitted for the modern world, committed to life-long learning and able to contribute to the communities in which they live and work.
For more information about the programmes and the range of scholarships and grants available, visit www.mdx.ac.ae.