Mental health awareness stories in Oman prove inspirational

Oman Sunday 08/May/2016 22:57 PM
By: Times News Service
Mental health awareness stories in Oman prove inspirational

Muscat: The fourth ‘Not Alone’ session, featuring six mental health awareness stories, was organised recently by the Whispers of Serenity Clinic at Bait Al Zubair, and was well attended by psychologists, artists, social media bloggers and others from the local community.
The event included six speeches by six different people on topics like divorce, self-image, anxiety attacks, depression, hope, social media bullying. All the speakers had themselves dealt with these issues and spoke about it.
“One of the most important things in life is to hear a real story from a person who has gone through a real event. It affects both the speaker and the listener in a way they can’t imagine, because the person who is talking, is saying something very personal from the heart and the listener is receiving it and appreciating what this speaker is saying.” said Her Highness Sayyida Basma al Said, Mental Health expert and owner of the Whispers of Serenity Clinic.
“One of the main reasons we have ‘Not Alone’ story sessions is just to tell people that they are not alone, that everyone has issues as well, and that there are people courageous enough to talk about it. Maybe somebody in that audience last night had a similar issue and will come up to us one day and say that they can talk too, thinking that they are in a safe zone, and hence we have made the place very cosy and relaxing. It doesn’t seem intimidating.” Her Highness Sayyida Basma added.
Natalia was one of the speakers who spoke about anxiety attacks, something that was affecting her life, and then she elaborated on how she was able to overcome that situation through Zumba.
“By listening to each of the speakers’ stories, I hope other people understand that it is okay to seek help and tell family, friends and health professionals about a problem you are going through. It will help with figuring out what they can do. It is pretty much like a therapy to me.
“The more I speak about it, the more I feel that I am in control of the situation and that something can actually be done. Also, if I can help someone through speaking and inspire them, it is even better,” said Natalia.
Sakina Al Lawati, who also attended the event said it opened her eyes about many things. “It was a wonderful event and showed that there are people who are going through problems, but they are not scared to speak about them. I think that helps others know that they are not alone in the process of fighting with their issues. So many people go through tough situations and don’t admit it, but this platform helps with that.”
At the end of the event, there was also an exhibition depicting child abuse. It featured several paintings portraying the issues that young children go through, right from poverty to abuse.
"May is mental health awareness month and it was important to hold this event during the month. I just want to tell everyone, if they are going through a problem, they can always seek help before it's too late." Her Highness Sayyida Basma further said.