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A Muslim experience of psychosis: Muslim mental health practitioner experience

Masira Hans presents a case study of providing support to a Muslim woman who was experiencing psychosis

In this video, Masira Hans presents a case study of providing support to a Muslim woman who was experiencing psychosis.

Masira Hans is Serious Mental Illness Programme Manager at the mental health charity ‘Mind’, in Bradford. Before this, Masira worked at a third sector organisation that provided support specifically for ethnic minority communities. This case study is from her work there.

The person in this case study had a diagnosis of schizophrenia, but believed that her mental health problems were caused by black magic. She had not disclosed her belief to practitioners she had worked with before meeting Masira. Masira told the service-user that she accepted her belief about the cause of her mental health problems, because as a Muslim she shares this spiritual belief.

Masira then presented the service-user with a range of spiritual solutions to the problem such as prayer and reading scripture but asked her to engage with trauma-focused talking therapy with another specialist practitioner and to take her medication too. The service-user accepted all the support offered. She had previously not taken prescribed medication because she was convinced that her mental health problem had a spiritual cause and therefore believed that the medicine would not help.

Masira feels that the changes came about because she had heard, validated and believed the service-user’s explanations for her mental health problems – constant disbelief and invalidation of religious beliefs can be damaging to mental health.

Over to you

Do you think that you can work with religious beliefs like black magic in your mental health support practice, and what support and guidance would you need to do this? If you don’t feel you can, why?

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Understanding Mental Health in Muslim Communities

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