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    Health  Wellness WeekKV 169background only03
    calendar 5 Feb 2021

    In pursuit of happiness

    World Majlis probes how to build healthier, happier communities by improving mental wellness

    Bringing together a psychologist, a health professor, a happiness expert, a place maker and an environmental epidemiologist, Expo’s latest World Majlis gathered global experts to share ideas on how we can improve mental wellness and build healthier, happier communities.

    Part of Health and Wellness Week, the latest in a series of Expo-led thematic weeks that seek to address some of the world’s most pressing challenges, World Majlis participants spoke positively about how the pandemic had pushed mental health into the spotlight.

    Dr Sarah Rasmi, UAE-based psychologist and founder of the Thrive Wellbeing Centre, applauded the increased public discourse around the topic, and the fact many governments around the world are now prioritising mental health, as signs of hope for the future.

    Professor Shekhar Saxena from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, encouraged people not to think of the world as divided into two – those with, and those without, mental health issues – but instead consider a mental health spectrum, where people move around in response to situations around them, including COVID-19.

    Noof Al Jenebi, Director of the Emirates Centre for Happiness Research, emphasised the need to further reduce the stigma around mental health, especially for young people. Dr Kerstyn Comley, co-founder of the pioneering MeeTwo app, which allows young people to share their mental concerns anonymously and get advice from their peers, suggested a move away from talking about ‘mental health’ and instead referring to ‘mental wellness.’

    The conversation also probed the significance of the physical environment to our mental well-being, with Dr Nino Künzli, Dean of the Swiss School of Public Health, speaking about nature as a crucial tool in building human resilience and balancing mental health, while Nadine Bitar, a thought leader on place-led approach for future cities, focused on the urban environment and the importance of ‘loveable places’ that enhance our connectivity, mobility and sense of community.

    To watch the session full, please click here.
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