Introduction to Gatekeeping Project


As you know, university life is stressful for many young adults, especially those with pre-existing mental health difficulties or significant family or life stressors. Equally challenging is that young adulthood marks the age of onset for many mental health conditions. During these critical years, many students are reluctant to seek mental health services due to stigma, societal pressure and many other reasons.

What is Mental health Gatekeeping?

Mental health Gatekeeping (GK) has become a popular approach across campuses worldwide to increase access to mental health support in young adult populations. Mental health gatekeepers are trained in recognized mental health facilitation programs that equip them to offer their peers basic emotional and social support and refer them further to professional mental health services. The model is based on the premise that individuals may influence their peers’ help-seeking behavior by increasing their awareness of mental health issues and encouraging them to seek support. The training offered to Gatekeepers at Zayed University is the Mental Health Facilitator Training (MHF).

Who are we?

The GK project is intended to involve the entire Zayed University community, not only students but also staff and faculty. Like students supporting other students, we have extended the model to encompass staff and faculty offering support to their colleagues.

What are we aiming for?

Besides increasing access to mental health support, we anticipate that the GK project will facilitate the development of an organized mental health Gate-Keeping community within ZU. In addition, we expect the GK community to play a central role in increasing understanding of and community engagement in mental wellness and creating a supportive mental health environment for everyone within the university.

Our team consists of:

The project started in 2021 with 23 gatekeepers spanning both the Dubai and Abu Dhabi campuses and included staff and faculty Mental Health Ambassadors (MHAs) and student Peer Psychological Supporters (PSYCs). In 2022, the gatekeepers’ numbers increased, and they are expected to continue growing in subsequent years.

How to reach out?

If you want to talk to a gatekeeper, you can contact them by:

  • Sending an email to
  • Visiting the GateKeepers room directly to meet the student gatekeepers (PSYCs).

In case of serious emotional difficulties, contact the Student Counseling Center at

Gatekeepers rooms:

Abu Dhabi Campus:

Male: F3.0.16

Female: M3.0.16

Dubai Campus:


Gatekeeping is under the patronage of the Student Counselling Centre (SCC). As part of the support offered by SCC to the Gatekeepers & ZU community members, severe cases & emergencies will be referred to SCC for professional follow-up. The Gatekeepers uphold privacy and confidentiality when offering social support.

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