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Mental Health & The Muslim Community: Stigma and Challenges

Mental Health & The Muslim Community: Stigma and Challenges

Author Maha Safwan by

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Every day, people attend school or work. They interact with people, deal with homework, friends, co-workers, projects, bills, applications, and so much more. Every day, people struggle with things that increase their stress levels. Every day, people push back worries and stress and focus on what needs to be accomplished, what needs to be done in order to maintain a living, achieve good grades, or complete those applications. Unfortunately, that stress tends to build up and begin to affect our mental health.

When people hear mental health, they may think of a recent school shooting and how society has labeled the shooter as a mentally ill lone wolf rather than a terrorist. They may think of people being labeled as “crazy” or “insane.” The topic of mental health comes with a lot of stigma surrounding it, as many people think of it as a taboo topic. Often times when it is spoken about, people don’t take it seriously and dismiss it quickly.

What many people may not realize is that dismissing mental health and contributing to the stigma that surrounds it by making jokes and not taking it seriously only makes it more difficult for people to come forward and speak about their struggles.

In the Muslim community, there is not enough discussion on mental health to help inform others or simply offer a system of support. When looking at current events and what happens in this country, it is sometimes difficult to stay positive and it can begin to affect people’s mental health.

Struggling with a mental illness, especially as a Muslim in a community that does not offer enough knowledge or support can be difficult, and increasing discussion on the topic of mental health can slowly tear down the stigma that surrounds the topic and make people more comfortable with the idea of discussing their struggles. It also helps inform people of what to look out for in their friends and family.

Acknowledging that someone has a mental illness and doing what is possible to help them is one of the most important things someone can do for them, along with staying by their side as a form of support.

If you, or someone you know, struggles with a mental illness and are unable to confide in your family friends, know that there are multiple organizations and hotlines dedicated to helping those who struggle with mental illnesses.

Mental Health Organization:

Suicide Prevention Organizations:

Suicide Prevention Line

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention:

Suicide Awareness Voices of Education

Suicide Prevention Hotlines:
Text CONNECT to 741741

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