x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

UAE Ramadan Bazaar gives mental health patients chance to show their creative side

Patients at a local hospital are being given the chance to make and sell handmade products to the public.

First Ramadan Bazaar featuring the work of patients working in the DIY (Do-It-Yourself) project to learn vocational skills. The items featured in the bazaar are made by patients for sale and the profit goes to patients at Sheikh Khalifa medical centre in Abu Dhabi. Ravindranath K / The National
First Ramadan Bazaar featuring the work of patients working in the DIY (Do-It-Yourself) project to learn vocational skills. The items featured in the bazaar are made by patients for sale and the profit goes to patients at Sheikh Khalifa medical centre in Abu Dhabi. Ravindranath K / The National

ABU DHABI // Handmade goods crafted by psychiatric patients are on sale to the public at one of the capital’s hospitals.

The Ramadan Bazaar, which opened yesterday at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, gives mental health patients a chance to show their creative sides, aid their recovery and make some money at the same time.

Forty patients have been working for the past year on their products, with instruction and aid from hospital staff and volunteers.

The bazaar is designed to help rehabilitate psychiatric patients and reintegrate them into society.
Jewellery, glassware and paintings are among the items on sale and doctors hope that the bazaar will prove popular with the
public.

“The project was set up specifically for psychiatric patients,” said Dr Faisal Al Nuwais, who is overseeing the initiative.

“This is the first time we have done this here, but we hope it can become a regular initiative – perhaps even run it every month if this goes well.

“It offers patients vocational skills, it shows them what it is like to have a job and to make their own money and feel like a full member of society.”

Dr Al Nuwais appealed to the public to get involved.

“Please come and support our patients, it is an excellent way for people to show that they care. I really feel that we have an excellent volunteer programme, so if anyone wants to help in any way, not just monetarily, then please get in touch with us.”

The Ramadan Bazaar is open until tomorrow from 9am to 3pm in the main lobby of the Sheikh Khalifa Medical City Surgical Pavilion.

ksinclair@thenational.ae