Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, President of the General Women's Union, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation and Mother of the Nation, has visited the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood to review the achievements of its programmes and initiatives over the past 20 years.

During the visit, Her Highness was briefed on the preparations and arrangements underway for the Fatima bint Mubarak Forum for Motherhood and Childhood, which will commence its activities and events on the 7 March 2024, in anticipation of its official convening on 10 October 2024, in addition to the preparations for the Emirati Children's Day on 15 March under the theme The Child's Right to Protection.

His Highness also reviewed the programmes and plans prepared for the forum to ensure the delivery of a comprehensive and effective programme, focusing on the mental health of the mother, child, adolescent and family.

The Fatima bint Mubarak Forum for Motherhood and Childhood aims to establish a comprehensive dialogue on mental health, with a particular focus on its impact on motherhood and childhood in the UAE through adopting a strong community approach.

The forum aims to enhance awareness, provide support and offer effective solutions to confront mental health-related challenges, serving as a leading platform for exchanging expertise. It opens the door for in-depth discussions on effective policies and strategies, and encourages the enhancement of cooperation among different stakeholders to build sustainable and fruitful partnerships. The forum also aims to deepen the dialogue on mental health and enrich it, including stimulating the community approach, promoting learning and awareness and providing strong support systems to facilitate the exchange of experiences among participants.

The forum will also discuss policies and strategies constructively, enhance inclusivity and accessibility, with an emphasis on the importance of innovation and research, and empower individuals through personal narratives. This will create opportunities for development and growth in the field of mental health for mothers and children and highlighting the pivotal role of the community in achieving these noble goals.

Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak emphasised the importance of ensuring the necessary care and support for mothers and their children in the UAE.

Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak has emphasised that the UAE, under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the UAE, is committed to ensuring the provision of necessary care and support for mothers and their children within the country.

Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak said: “We bear a significant responsibility towards our children and their mothers, striving diligently to provide all the necessary support and care for them. The Fatima bint Mubarak Forum for Motherhood and Childhood and the Emirati Children's Day represent two important steps in our journey towards achieving this goal. They reflect our deep commitment to building a bright future for every child in the UAE.

"We fully recognise that investing in childhood is an investment in the future of the entire nation. Therefore, we focus on developing and implementing programmes and initiatives that specifically target the mental health, education and social development of our children, considering these foundations as the cornerstone for achieving a comprehensive and cohesive society. We work to enhance these efforts by providing a supportive environment that encourages creativity and innovation, while ensuring to meet the special needs of every child and mother."

Her Highness emphasised the importance of partnership and cooperation among various sectors and institutions in the country to achieve these goals, noting that joint efforts and solidarity among all concerned parties are crucial in realising our vision of providing the best opportunities for our children and enhancing mothers' abilities to provide the necessary care. This will encourage the exchange of expertise and knowledge among specialists in the field of motherhood and childhood from within and outside the country to enhance the level of programmes and initiatives offered, and to ensure the continuity of development and innovation in healthcare, educational, and psychological care fields.

Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak said: “Achieving wellbeing for the mother and child is not solely the government's responsibility but is a shared responsibility that requires active participation from every individual in society. By working together, we can build a future that ensures every child in the UAE grows in a healthy and safe environment, surrounded by love and care, and equipped with all the necessary tools to reach their full potential.”

Her Highness listened to a detailed explanation of the preparatory activities and workshops preceding the forum's convening, aimed at equipping participants with practical skills for a proactive, empathetic, and comprehensive approach towards mental health across different societal segments. These workshops focus on developing social and behavioral change campaigns to efficiently spread information, reduce the stigma associated with mental health, and enhance public awareness of it.

The forum is expected to enhance the understanding of the challenges facing the mental health of mothers, children, and the elderly, improve community support systems, and increase cooperation among different sectors to improve mental health care. Additionally, the workshops will contribute to the development of culturally appropriate strategies and frameworks to enhance prevention and intervention, empowering individuals and communities through learning and training in mental health, thus reducing stigma and promoting an open and accepting community approach to mental health.

Her Highness's visit and her review of the preparations for the forum reflect the UAE's commitment to providing a healthy and supportive environment for all community members, in line with global trends towards enhancing mental health and social wellbeing. The Fatima bint Mubarak Forum for Motherhood and Childhood serves as an important platform for achieving these goals, highlighting the vital role of families and communities in supporting mental health and well-being, and affirming the importance of partnership and cooperation among different entities to address challenges and offer effective solutions, allowing the UAE to continue its leadership in healthcare and social care, with a special emphasis on the importance of mental health as an integral part of overall wellbeing and sustainable community development.

Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, during the visit, also reviewed the intensive preparations for the Emirati Children's Day on 15 March, an occasion that highlights the deep care for children's rights and reaffirms the ongoing efforts to enhance the psychological and physical wellbeing of children in the emirates. This year's Emirati Children's Day offers an opportunity to reflect on the progress made and the continued work towards creating a supportive and stimulating environment for the healthy and integrated growth of children. This initiative reflects the state's commitment to providing everything necessary for raising a new generation capable of effectively contributing to the future of the emirates.

Her Highness listened to a detailed presentation on the planned programmes and events for this day, ranging from educational and recreational activities to awareness initiatives aimed at highlighting the importance of providing protection and support for children and honouring the winners of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood Award for the Bullying Prevention in Schools.

Her Excellency Reem bint Abdullah Al Falasi, Secretary General of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, affirmed the continuous support and strategic vision of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak in enhancing the rights of the child and mother and implementing her ambitious vision for a better future for them in the UAE.

Her Excellency Reem bint Abdullah Al Falasi said: "The Mother of the Nation, through her insightful vision and ongoing efforts, has placed the rights of the child and mother at the core of the country’s priorities, reflecting our firm commitment to building a society that embraces every individual and provides them with the necessary care and support to realise their full potential.

"As part of these efforts, the Fatima bint Mubarak Forum for Motherhood and Childhood represents an important step towards implementing this vision, bringing together experts and specialists to discuss, develop and implement innovative strategies aimed at improving the mental and social health of mothers and their children. This forum reflects our commitment to providing all opportunities for our children to grow in a healthy and stimulating environment.

"Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak spares no effort in achieving these goals, and her continuous support enables us to continue our work with confidence towards realising our vision for a future characterised by wellbeing and prosperity for all children and mothers in the emirates."

Her Excellency Al Falasi emphasised the importance of joint work and cooperation among all concerned parties to ensure a future where every child and mother in the UAE enjoys the highest levels of care and support. This is thanks to the concerted efforts and close cooperation between all government, private, and community entities, affirming that the commitment to motherhood and childhood goes beyond organising events, but also adopting a comprehensive approach that ensures continuous and effective support for every mother and child in the country.