Interview with Naila Al Moosawi, Founder & CEO of Amal - Counselling for a Better Tomorrow

Interview with Naila Al Moosawi, Founder & CEO of Amal - Counselling for a Better Tomorrow

In recent times, mental health has gained significant prominence due to the unprecedented challenges faced globally. The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of emotional well-being as individuals navigate through increased stress, anxiety, and uncertainty. Recognizing the growing need for affordable and accessible mental health support, Naila Al Moosawi established Amal – Counselling For a Better Tomorrow. Through their efforts, this private counseling service in Dubai highlights the vital role of compassion and community in providing essential mental health care.

Explore the depth of Amal’s initiatives as its founder and CEO, Naila Al Moosawi shares insights into the evolving landscape of mental wellness and its growing impact worldwide.

With Naila at its helm, Amal emerged as a response to the challenges posed by the pandemic. Recalling the rapidity with which the idea materialized, she says,

“I find myself on the 7th of June having a permit, and by June 20th, we were operational.”

This organic genesis was driven by a steadfast belief in the transformative power of accessible mental health care for a brighter future.

At the heart of Amal's mission lies the belief in the transformative power of hope. Naila notes,

“Amal means hope. And it's here to serve the community for a better tomorrow."

Amal employs a varied approach in adapting its corporate wellness programs to diverse sectors. The team tailors its offerings to suit the unique needs of different demographics. Naila acknowledges the evolving nature of workplaces and the varying stressors individuals face at different stages of life. Amal ensures that its programs remain relevant and effective. She explains,

“It all depends on the demographic. It is all about who we're delivering to and how we'll assess the knowledge transfer."

Amal customizes its content, materials, and activities according to their client’s needs. This nuanced approach ensures that each sector receives targeted interventions to promote well-being and foster resilience.

Continual learning and adaptation are integral to Amal's ethos. Amal ensures its counselors and programs remain at the forefront of clinical and therapeutic advancements. With counselors possessing a range of qualifications and experiences, they tailor their approaches to individual cases, drawing from a variety of therapeutic modalities. For instance, while a psychodynamic approach may be effective for some, others may benefit more from techniques like hypnotherapy.

Amal acknowledges the pressing need for mental wellness both locally and globally. Naila states that despite the progress made in the region, there remains a lack of recognition and understanding of mental health issues, worsened by financial constraints and deep rooted stereotypes. Moreover, cultural norms surrounding privacy often hinder open discussions about mental well-being. However, with the UAE spearheading a strong agenda for mental health, there is hope for progress.

"We still have a very, very long way to go,"

notes Naila.

While the Arab world may be more advanced than some countries in this regard, Naila recognizes that there is still a considerable journey ahead to destigmatize mental health and make support more accessible to all.

One of the hallmarks of Amal's approach is its community-based ethos. By engaging with diverse demographics, Amal ensures that its services are accessible and relevant to all. Serving both blue-collar and white-collar communities equally, Naila emphasizes the importance of connecting with individuals facing psychological and financial hardships. She recalls a meaningful encounter with a butcher in the community. Being unable to afford medication or differentiate between psychologists and psychiatrists, Naila provided him with invaluable support through non-prescriptive means, ultimately witnessing the individual's remarkable progress.

The most rewarding experience in the journey of Amal, according to Naila Al Moosawi, has been the tangible impact witnessed in the lives of those in desperate need. Naila describes the satisfaction derived from guiding individuals through their struggles, witnessing their progress, and ultimately seeing them thrive. She says,

"For us, that means we are serving somebody who needs us and this is why we're there."

A recent message from a grateful recipient of Amal's services particularly resonated, expressing heartfelt thanks for the positive transformation observed in their daughter. Such feedback not only validates the organization's efforts but also fuels their determination to continue their impactful work.

Looking into its expansion plans, Amal envisions reaching beyond its core counseling services to offer comprehensive support to diverse communities. Alongside counseling and assessment services, Amal plans to expand its reach through corporate webinars and targeted initiatives such as Arab counsel to raise awareness among Arabic-speaking populations. Naila also mentions their intent to extend their services to hardship locations like Kashmir and Sri Lanka, as well as internationally to countries like Australia to strike a balance between global outreach and local impact. However, she acknowledges the importance of addressing needs at home before venturing abroad.

As a visionary leader, Naila's advice to aspiring professionals echoes the core values of Amal: service, empathy, and resilience. She emphasizes the importance of making counseling both affordable and accessible. Beyond their core mission, Amal is dedicated to cultivating psychology resources for nationals. Additionally, Naila and her management team prioritize providing interns with meaningful experiences that inspire learning, giving back, and preparing them for future roles in mental health care.

Under Naila’s leadership, Amal continues to illuminate paths with the power of empathy and determination paving the way for a brighter, more resilient future in mental health care.

Watch the full interview:

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Shahba Mayyeri

Written by Shahba Mayyeri

Shahba is a Content Creator at HiDubai with 3 years of experience in crafting compelling stories and articles. She holds a Master’s degree in Media and Communications from MAHE Dubai.
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