October 10th is observed as World Mental Health Day, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health. Mental Health issues “still don’t not receive enough attention”.

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.

Depression is a common mental disorder. Globally, more than 300 million people of all ages suffer from depression, the World Health Organization (WHO) advises, and depression and anxiety costs the world economy an estimated US$ 1 trillion a year in lost productivity.

Some of the main reasons why people are at risk for mental health issues are:
- childhood abuse, trauma, or neglect
- social isolation or loneliness
- experiencing discrimination and stigma
- social disadvantage, poverty or debt
- bereavement (losing someone close to you)
- severe or long-term stress
- having a long-term physical health condition

Mentally healthy people know how to deal with issues in their life in a positive and healthy manner. As a parent, it is important that you promote positive mental health, and some ways in which you can build positive mental health habits include:

1. Encourage your child to talk openly about their feelings and thoughts, and build positive relationships with others
2. When your child is worried, listen to them and help them solve the problem effectively
3. Encourage your child to take care of their physical health (exercise, food, sleep)
4. Help your child stay focused on the current moment using mindfulness
5. Be a role model for mental health - demonstrate positive behaviour
6. Praise, support, and motivate your child regularly to build self-esteem
7. Work together to learn coping skills
8. Encourage autonomy as your child grows to help them become independent

Dr. Hibah’s Medical and Learning Centers offer a combination of specialised programmes for children with additional needs, in co-operation with many community service centres and schools. They aim to provide the highest possible care, support and education to children and families in the surrounding community.

Child Early Intervention Medical Center and Child Learning and Enrichment Medical Center focus on aspects of child development from birth to 18 years, providing psychological assessments, diagnostic assessments and therapeutic intervention services for children with learning, developmental, and behavioral challenges with a view to prepare children with special educational needs for successful inclusion into nursery and school.

Maharat Learning Center, provides a variety of specialized programs for children and young adults with learning difficulties and special educational needs. Here they provide behavioral assessments, behavioral therapy, tutoring for specific learning difficulties, school shadowing, school supervision and inclusion support services, and professional development and training.

Dr Hibah Shata, Founder and CEO of Child Early Intervention Medical Center, Child Learning and Enrichment Medical Center and Maharat Learning Center.