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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 16 July 2018

Dubai teen campaigns for launch of a suicide helpline in UAE

Her online petition has thousands of signatures, and now she wants to take it to the UAE government 

Amal Al Ghory, 16, started a petition for a suicide helpline. Christopher Pike / The National 
Amal Al Ghory, 16, started a petition for a suicide helpline. Christopher Pike / The National 

A teenager from Dubai was so concerned about mental health problems among youths so she has published a petition for a UAE suicide helpline.

And so far it has amassed more than 26,000 signatures.

Amal Al Ghory, 16, believes that suicide is “100 per cent preventable” with the right tools, support and care available to all.

They would include a suicide helpline, where young people can talk to a trained volunteer who would not stigmatise problems or judge callers for their feelings, actions or personal circumstances.

The volunteers could also make referrals to mental health professionals.

“A person going through a crisis has to feel like they are safe and that they can talk freely about their issues to get the help they need,” Amal said.

“The UAE Government should rethink its law regarding acts of suicide and allocate funds for establishing a suicide helpline.”

Amal wants the helpline to be funded by the Government and she wants to personally take the petition to the Government because the website on which her petition was published is no longer operating.

“It will greatly benefit the UAE and its people, and help to decrease the stigma around suicide,” she said. “The population will be provided with better health care and an easily accessible, go-to resource for suicide prevention.”