Destigmatizing Mental Disease


Meet “Mental Health AE”

Tempo met with the team behind Mental Health AE, a new solution incubated by Maan, in Abu Dhabi. Here’s Latifa Bin Haider to introduce the platform and how she and her co-founder Ali Khawaja hope to change attitudes towards mental health.

“My name is Latifa Bin Haider and my co-founder is Ali Khawaja. Together we co-founded Mental Health AE a year ago. 

“I’m an Emirati graduate from the American University of Sharjah with a major in Business Management and minor in Finance. I’m a social entrepreneur who wants to create an impact on society.

“Ali is an instructor at the American University of Sharjah in the School of Business and Management with a passion for technology and innovation. 

“Mental Health AE is a shared platform that aims to raise awareness about the importance of mental health and get rid of the stigma associated with it. We do that through sharing information on our website and social media channels, regular meetups and events at corporates and universities, and we are in the process of developing an app that provides mental health services from professionals (therapists, psychologists, etc…) who are knowledgeable about regional culture and sensitivities via a mobile application at affordable prices. 

“The website and social channels are operational, along with our weekly meetups (twice a week). We are also in the process of expanding our team, developing the mobile app. 

“We hope that one day everyone can talk about mental health without feeling stigmatized or judged. And rather than having a few places that are safe spaces, everywhere should be a safe space. The message we always like to send out is, “You are not alone, and together we can make a change”. 

Connect with Mental Health AE: Instagram: @mentalhealthae and “

Sara Bukair is an Arab-American studying at Stanford University. Apart from writing for Tempo, you can find Sara listening to musicals, watching the news, or working on her university projects.