Experts from Sheikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC), managed by Cleveland Clinic, are addressing the psychological, social, cultural, and physical impact of the internet as part of their ongoing series of mental health awareness talks.
The lecture will take place on 6 May at 7:00 pm, in the Behavioural Sciences Pavilion (BSP) auditorium at SKMC, and is aimed at helping bring understanding around the psychological impact of the internet and digital communications.
According to SKMC physicians, there are many harmful psychological and psychical impacts of internet addiction which include sleeping disorders, problems focusing on education and work, and reduced interest in engaging in exercise or hobbies.
“Of course the advent of the internet has ushered in a new era of connectivity and communications, but compulsive and addictive use of it is a serious condition and continues to be on the rise, especially among young people. It’s important to recognise the signs of addiction and minimise or eliminate the negative consequences on one’s life,” said Dr. Faisal Al Nowais, Psychiatrist at SKMC and presenter at the lecture. “There is anecdotal evidence that Internet-addicts function in the same way as those addicted to drugs or alcohol, which results in impairment at all levels of life – academic, social, and occupational. We want to ensure that parents are aware of the dangers associated with excessive use of the internet,” Dr. Al Nowais added.
Presenting in conjunction with Dr. Al Nowais is psychologist Tahani Moustafa, who echoes Dr. Al Nowais’ sentiments: “Like any addiction, there are treatment options and professional help available for those addicted to the internet, and we urge members of the community to seek assistance if they or a family member or friend exhibits signs of addiction,” Moustafa said.
This health talk is part of the Mental Health Awareness Program that started in March 2010, and includes a series of health talks in Arabic language every month on different topics related to mental health and social problems. The invitation is extended to the public and SKMC’s patients. SKMC is part of the SEHA Health System and is owned and operated by Abu Dhabi Health Services Company PJSC (SEHA), which is responsible for the curative activities of all the public hospitals and clinics in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
The Mental Health Awareness Program is organized by the BSP of SKMC, a comprehensive psychiatric facility committed to providing mental health treatment services in the UAE. The program consists of monthly public health talks about different topics related to mental health in the Arabic language. The talks are given by a panel of mental health professionals, including psychiatrists, psychologists as well as social workers from the BSP. Each session includes a question and answer session to answer the attendees’ inquiries.
The SKMC Mental Health Awareness program addressing issues relevant to the community is continuously updated. The final talk for this series will take place on 3 June and focus on Characteristics of an Addict.
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