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Drawing out the differences and similarities between Western and Islamic frameworks for understanding mental health

Dr Yusuf covers the main points of differentiation to make clear the differences between Western and Islamic frameworks.

Dr Yusuf begins this video by acknowledging that understanding the differences between Islamic and Western frameworks, as we have done in the last two activities, is a challenging task.

In this step, he covers the main points of differentiation to make clear the differences between the two and relates this knowledge back to the holistic approaches we covered in Activity 2 of Week 1.

Islam, and indeed all religious perspectives, add the factors of origin, purpose and scriptural wisdom to secular perspectives on mental health.

Dr Yusuf encapsulates the differences between Islamic and Western approaches in the ‘X-model’: although Western and Islamic approaches to mental health are based on different kinds of knowledge and on different views of what it means to be human, they ‘crossover’ in the importance they place on how we see ourselves as human beings, and how we see the world around us. This means that there are opportunities to share knowledge between the two approaches to mental health. As Dr Yusuf tells us, practitioners from both traditions have the potential to work together and learn from each other.

In the following steps, we introduce three approaches to Islamically-inclusive mental health support, these are: Islamically-sensitive; Islamically-informed; and finally, Islamically-indigenous. All three of these approaches fall within the bio-psycho-social-spiritual model of mental health support.

At the end of this activity, there will be a discussion step that will encourage you to appraise, and discuss with other learners, the three approaches to Islamically-inclusive mental health support. You may find it helpful to make a note of your thoughts and reflections on each approach – thinking about whether, how, and why you might consider including it as part of your practice. Use your reflective diary to note down your ideas so that you are ready to take part in the discussion.

Over to you

Dr Yusuf tells us in this video that there is opportunity for the ‘cross-fertilisation’ of knowledge between practitioners who use Islamic and Western (or mainstream) approaches to mental health support.

What one piece of advice would you share with other learners around providing mental health support for Muslims? Include your professional background and approach to mental health support in your comment.

Take a look at advice from other learners – can you add something to another learner’s advice, or ask a question to find out more? This is a great way to see cross-fertlisation of knowledge in action.

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Understanding Mental Health in Muslim Communities

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