Yad b Yad raises awareness about mental health issues

The idea for Yad b Yad was based on the group’s ambition to increase youth awareness on mental health topics and erase the culture of shame in society. (Photos: Freepik)
Yad b Yad is an initiative launched by a group of youth to raise awareness about mental health issues and the significance of psychological support.اضافة اعلان

Mohammad Maraqa. (Photo: Handouts from Mohammad Maraqa)

Mohammad Maraqa, a co-founder of Yad b Yad initiative, told Jordan News that the idea of Yad b Yad emerged when people started to turn toward Clubhouse Application and join discussions through its rooms. He noticed that many people were discussing mental health and sharing sensitive topics and personal experiences with psychologists and the relief they feel even though their participation was via voice only.

Maraqa, how, at a certain time in his life went through depression, is aware of the importance of helping others who are going through mental issues.

Dina Mohammed. (Photo: Handouts from Mohammad Maraqa)

In 2021, Maraqa alongside, Celine Hasan, Dina Mohammed, Amr Halawani, and Sawsan Taher, began to conduct Yad b Yad activities by using Clubhouse.

Hasan told Jordan News that the idea was based on the group’s ambition to increase youth awareness on mental health topics and erase the culture of shame in society.

Celine Hasan. (Photo: Handouts from Mohammad Maraqa)

“We saw Clubhouse as an opportunity because it is available for everyone and not limited to a specific area,” she said.

Yad b Yad, which means “hand in hand”, was founded to create a supportive community in which participants are holding each other’s hands, Hasan said.

According to Halawani, everybody suffers from physical sicknesses and everyone may face mental issues. Yad b Yad is trying to help people solve their problems.

Amr Halawani. (Photo: Handouts from Mohammad Maraqa)

The majority of the participants were initially young, but people of different ages and from all walks of life started joining. No specific groups of people are targeted, everyone interested in mental health or suffering from its issues may join, said Maraqa.

The initiative aims to raise awareness about the significance of mental health among people of all ages. In the Arab region, there are many misconceptions about mental health; hence, their main target are Arab countries, Maraqa added.

Yad b Yad encourages parents to use tips and methods it is providing to raise their children, Hasan emphasized.

The group uses Clubhouse to reach psychologists and host them in their rooms. They received good support from psychologists who tried to help as much as they could and offered to join their activities, Maraqa said.

To encourage people to participate, they use Instagram and Facebook to reach more people. They also share statistics, to give people who do not have the necessary knowledge about mental health issues the information they need, Hasan said.

“We are in an era where not everything has to be physical, so we want people to accept the idea of online therapy,” said Halawani.

Sawsan Taher. (Photo: Handouts from Mohammad Maraqa)

The group is planning to keep up its online activities, which will enable them to reach other countries, and not be limited to Jordan, Maraqa added.

When they first launched Yad b Yad, it was hard for Maraqa to speak about the mental issues he suffered from, but with time, the initiative helped him to be open about his personal experience, he said. 

As Clubhouse’s popularity declined among people and the ease of COVID-19 restrictions added some challenges to the initiative, but the group is committed to its, despite work and university schedules that made them pause their Clubhouse activities. Still, via their Instagram account, they continue to help people, by, for example, connecting them with psychologists.

The group seeks to conduct live activities via Instagram and host more psychologists to help people identify mental issues they may face, and to launch a website that can be used as reference for how people can contact psychologists. They are also planning to hold educational lectures in universities and schools, believing it is necessary for children to know what they are dealing with, because mental issues are somehow hard to be diagnosed, and to give them the chance to consult experts in the field if needed.

“We are planning to find other initiatives to support us, as we want to expand Yad b Yad,” Maraqa said.

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