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How can classical Islamic understandings of mental health inform contemporary mental health practice?

How can classical Islamic understandings of mental health inform contemporary mental health practice?

Throughout this activity, we have learned that mental health problems have been recognised as part of the human experience since the very earliest days of Islam. In this video, Dr Yusuf makes some practical recommendations about how practitioners might use this information when providing mental health support.

He suggests that knowing more about the relationship between Islam and mental health can improve mental health support for Muslims.

For example, practitioners can use this knowledge to raise awareness among Muslims with mental health problems that what they are experiencing is a natural part of life, and it is accepted as such in their religious tradition. And, importantly, that mental health problems are not a punishment from God.

Practitioners might also recommend religious practices as ‘self-therapy’ – ways in which those with mental health problems can help themselves. For example, through reading historical stories from Islamic history, Muslims might understand that key figures in Islam also went through trials and tribulations and overcame them, this might be a source of comfort for some.

Dr Yusuf tells us that attaining good mental health was, and should continue to be, seen as essential to attaining spiritual wellbeing for Muslims. In the next step, we move on to Activity 5, where we take a closer look at the impacts of Islamic practices or beliefs on mental health.

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Understanding Mental Health in Muslim Communities

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