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Mental health stigma in Muslim communities – a changing picture

A changing picture of mental health stigma in Muslim communities

In this video Maulana Hasan draws on his extensive experience of working in the field of Muslim Mental Health to describe mental health stigma in Muslim communities in the North of England.

Maulana Hasan Sidat is an Islamic scholar and Senior Operational Manager for Recovery & Resilience for the Nursing, Experience and Engagement Department at Lancashire & South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust.

The development team spent time in January 2022 observing a community engagement event that Maulana Hasan had organised at a mosque in Burnley. Burnley is a town in Lancashire, in the North of England, which has a significant Muslim population, mainly of Pakistani and Indian ethnicity. The event centered on the ‘HARRI bus’, a mobile health and wellbeing engagement service for marginalised communities in South Lancashire. HARRI stands for Health Advice Recovery Resilience Information, see the link below for further details.

Maulana Hasan describes a changing picture of attitudes towards mental health problems and accessing support in Muslim communities. He feels that stigma arises mainly due to a lack of understanding of mental health in South Asian cultures, and a tendency to attribute relate mental health problems to spiritual causes. However, this is a changing picture, imams who work in mosques have been influential in improving understandings of mental health problems and sources of support in Muslim communities.

Younger imams who are trained in Britain and who have been brought up in British Muslim communities tend to have a greater awareness of mental health problems and are more likely to bring these topics up as part of their service to the communities they work in. Maulana Hasan makes links between good mental health, mindfulness and spiritual wellbeing for Muslims, using examples from Islamic scripture.

In the next step, Hafiz Suhayl Patel describes his lived experience of mental health stigma in a Muslim community.

Signposting

HARRI is a mobile health and wellbeing engagement initiative run by the Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust. For more information visit Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust – Health Advice Recovery Resilience Information (HARRI)

Lancashire Recovery College is administered by the Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust. The Recovery College offer courses on health and wellbeing to local communities. The courses are co-produced with people who have lived experience of mental health problems. For more information visit Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust – Lancashire Recovery College

Over to you

Based on your knowledge and/or experience of mental health stigma in Muslim communities, do you agree with Maulana Hasan that stigma is reducing over time?

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Understanding Mental Health in Muslim Communities

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