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UAE Schools Won Global Awards for Teen Mental Health Training

Schools in the UAE are gaining international recognition for their dedication to students' mental health and well-being. In Dubai, Gems FirstPoint School – The Villa has been honored with the School Mental Health Award from the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools, UK. This prestigious accolade acknowledges the school's outstanding initiatives, such as implementing a peer-to-peer mental health program and integrating well-being into the curriculum.

Matthew Barrett, head of primary at Gems FirstPoint School, expressed pride in the school's commitment to promoting mental well-being among students. He highlighted the invaluable role played by year 12 and 13 pupils trained in mental health first aid, who serve as "well-being warriors," fostering a culture of care throughout the school.

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The school's holistic approach extends to organizing events like FPS Fest, where students in years five and six take the lead in arranging activities focused on well-being, including yoga and fitness sessions. Additionally, early years pupils are trained as "empathy detectives," encouraging kindness and empathy among peers.

In Sharjah, Gems Wesgreen International School received the TES Student Mental Health Initiative of the Year award for its Teen Mental Health First Aid program. Recognizing the importance of equipping students to identify and support peers facing mental health challenges, the school has trained 75 pupils as mental health first aiders since 2021.

Roxanne Wolmarans, head of student support and inclusion at Gems Wesgreen International School, emphasized the program's goal of empowering students to address mental health issues and reduce stigma. Collaborating with The Lighthouse Arabia, a mental health clinic in Dubai, the school ensures students receive comprehensive training and support.

These initiatives align with a broader trend in UAE schools towards prioritizing mental health and well-being. The British School Al Khubairat in Abu Dhabi, for instance, received the Gold Standard Mental Health Award for its comprehensive well-being strategy, which includes counseling services, preventative measures, and holistic education for students, staff, and parents.

Similarly, Aspen Heights British School in Abu Dhabi was recognized for its efforts in supporting students' mental health during the pandemic. The school's innovative approach includes creating an on-site animal kingdom and establishing a well-being hub for students to engage with animals and access additional support services.

These initiatives underscore the UAE's commitment to fostering a supportive and inclusive learning environment, where students' mental health is prioritized and nurtured.

May 24, 2024 11:32 a.m. 463

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