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4 Arab Female Mental Health Advocates to Follow

Happy World Mental Health Day!

Today is World Mental Health Day and for those of us that are, or know someone who is, struggling with, mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, panic attacks and more, today is all about letting you and loved ones know how supported you are and that asking for help is ok!

World Mental Health Day is also about highlighting the people we can look to in mental health care, as well as spreading knowledge and educating others about mental health conditions, how to provide the best care, and sharing tips on how to cope with it all.

To help, has compiled a list of Arab female mental health advocates to follow now…

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HH Sayyida Basma Al Said @basmaalsaidofficial

HH Sayyida Basma Al Said is a clinical counsellor and hypnotist with a special interest on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and also founded the first dedicated mental health clinic in Oman in 2012.

She advocates for creative ways of improving mental health, including activities such as art therapy. Her clinic has also started an anti-childhood bullying group called Young Minds, and oversees @notaloneoman, which is an initiative to raise awareness of mental health issues across the Sultanate of Oman. 

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Micheline Maalouf @micheline.maalouf

Micheline Maalouf is a psychotherapist and mental health educator who shares her expertise along with helpful tips to help support mental health across social media platforms such as Instagram, TikTok and YouTube.

Maalouf shares easy and unique strategies she uses to deal with situations such as panic attacks in public places, and discusses dissociation and depression. Her platform highlights how common it is to struggle with mental health and that there is help available. 

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Diane Farah @askmehowimreallydoing

Diane Farah is a UAE based filmmaker and mental health advocate who has launched a mental health community to help in supporting people that don’t have, or can’t get, access to affordable mental health care.

The online initiative and community is called Ask Me How I’m Really Doing, and it highlights the online mental health platforms that offer low cost therapy, with therapists that are based in the MENA region. Some of the rates beginning at just $12USD an hour. The initiative is a non-profit organization and is run by volunteers and community efforts. 

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Amna Al Haddad @amna.s.alhaddad

Amna Al Haddad is a leading inspirational figure and an expert on women’s sports and a mental health advocate from the Arab world. She is a self-made sports pioneer and her work has been recognized by prominent leaders, international media, and global brands.

Known for breaking the glass ceiling as an Olympic Weightlifter from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) who contributed to the country’s Rio 2016 Olympics Qualification, she made history as the first Arab woman to compete in CrossFit Asia Regionals in 2012 whilst also being a full-time journalist. “A champion for change,” she is often invited as a keynote speaker and panelist to discuss sports, mental health, female empowerment, resilience, determination, grit and more. 

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