12 celebrity speakers from Arab countries will share their real-life experiences on mental health topics such as depression, anxiety, bullying and survival at a forum called #NotAlone Stories on October 5 and 6 at Kempinski Hotel in Seeb.
The event is organized by Whispers of Serenity, a well-known mental health wellness clinic in Oman. “It takes a bold person to share their mental health issue publicly, and we have chosen these celebrities not based on their fame but because they showed the willingness to share their stories,” said Her Highness Sayyida Basma al Said, founder of Whispers of Serenity.
However, Sayyida Basma did not reveal the names of the celebrities who will be speaking at the event. The two-day event will have an entry fee of RO 40. According to the organisers, the revenue from half of the ticket sales for the event will be donated to Oman Association for the Disabled, while the remaining half will be used for developing an app designed to fight child abuse.
The forum will also have students from various schools in Oman taking part. “We had specifically reached out to schoolchildren with a campaign on bullying, and we were amazed to note that some of the children were well-informed about it and some of them had very good information from which we benefited,” said Her HighnessSayyida Dr Taghreed al Said, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, College of Education, Sultan Qaboos University. “Just like adults, children also go through anxieties, stress, and depression and that is why we are planning to develop an app called Ziad which will help us to reach out to children easily,” she added.
The Not Alone awareness initiative was launched in 2014. It is aimed at reducing social stigma about mental health disorders. For updates, people can follow @notealoneoman on Instagram.