This May is maternal mental health month, and it has never been more important to safeguard mother’s mental health than now, during the pandemic in a time of social isolation. These initiatives and centres are offering free forms of support to pregnant women and new mothers who may be looking for ways to think more positively during these difficult and unusual times.  

Out of the Blues

Out of the Blues is an active UAE-based Facebook group dedicated to those suffering from pre and postnatal depression (or any kind of depression and anxiety) and is full of excellent advice, links to free resources and many UAE-based women in the same boat who are able to offer advice and support or just a listening ear at all hours of the day and night.

Thrive Wellbeing Centre

Thrive Wellbeing Centre has a dedicated maternal mental health facility, and has now added a Covid-19 resource hub which features free webinars and support groups, recordings of past live streaming sessions an downloadable resources. As well as offering a range of paid online therapy services, Thrive is offering some free online support groups. The Pregnancy support group is biweekly, Tuesdays from 11:30am-12:30pm with Dr, Vassiliki  Simoglou and Dr Sarah Rasmi. They are also running free wellbeing check-ins on Tuesday and Wednesday from 11am-1pm and 5pm-7pm with Mina Shafik and free wellbeing check-ins on Sunday and Monday from 5-7pm with Sonia Singhal

The LightHouse Arabia

As well as a range of paid online therapy options, The LightHouse Arabia is offering lots of free, regular online support groups, including a Pregnancy Circle During Covid-19 support group and Motherhood During Covid-19 support group. You can see the various groups and the dates and times as well as register to be part of the groups on their website’s event calendar.  

Taaluf Initiative

The newly launched Taaluf initiative by the Ministry of Community Development (MoCD) is offering free counselling to help members of the community deal with stress and anxiety. A helpline 800623 is available 9am to 9pm Sunday to Thursday, as well as WhatsApp video calls (register on the Ministry’s website to access this). Weekly live streaming services are also available via the Ministry’s Instagram account (@mocduae)

Read more: Expect Covid-related rise in Postpartum Depression, warn experts

The Dubai Community Health Center

The Dubai Community Health Center is offering a free consultation with their psychologist for anyone feeling overwhelmed with stress triggers like anxiety or depression. Contact from 9am-8pm, Saturday to Thursday on Whatsapp or phone: 050 243 1165, 045078000 (this is a HIPAA certified service that guarantees confidentiality).

Mindful ME

Mindful ME is offering a range of paid remote counselling and therapy sessions, with a focus on mindfulness, but they are also broadcasting regularly for free on Instagram Live. Helen Williams from Mindful ME will be talking about Mindful Living Mondays at 7pm, while Jo will be doing Mindful Parenting sessions on Thursday at 10am.

Soul Space

Soul Space is offering free ‘Clarity Chats’ for anybody who wants or needs them. You will sit with Sarah Babiker, a qualified positive psychology coach, in a one hour video call. “We can talk through your feelings without judgement andinstil some hope and confidence in this new normal.” Her life coaching services are now also at a 40% discount. To book a session email sarah@soulspace.ae at any time

The National Campaign for Mental Support

Dubai’s National Campaign for Mental Support is hosting regular live broadcasts on mental health topics on its Instagram page. Held in both English and Arabic, the themes span the whole spectrum of mental health.

If you are offering a regular, free form of mental health support for pregnant women and mothers please email babyandchild@gulfnews.com to be added to the list.