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Incorporating Islamic knowledge into mainstream mental health services

Masira Hans explains what makes it possible for her to bring in her Islamic knowledge into her mental health support practice

In this step, Masira Hans, Severe Mental Illness Programme Manager for Mind in Bradford, explains what makes it possible for her to bring in her Islamic knowledge into her mental health support practice.

Asma put this question to Masira after listening to a case study example where Masira had supported a young person through her mental health problems and had incorporated Islamic practices into her therapeutic approach.

Masira explains that she studied Islamic Theology, Arabic language, and religious scriptures for seven years, so she is confident in her knowledge of Islam and her ability to explain this to others. She also has lived experience of what she describes as a “mental health journey”. Masira has a degree in Psychology and professional qualifications in counselling.

Masira always asks people “what is it that works for you?” She has a wide conception of spirituality and appreciates how important it is to people in their lives, and takes a holistic approach that incorporates spirituality within the bio-psycho-social framework. Masira continues to learn and modify her approach from new scholarship in the field of Muslim Mental Health.

Masira has never received any criticism for her approach to incorporating spirituality in her mental health practice in her workplace. She thinks this is because her approach leads to positive results and her clients are open with her and she has had positive feedback. At the time of the case study, Masira was working for an organisation that provided support exclusively to ethnic minority communities and bringing in spiritual aspects to mental health support was an accepted practice there.

Over to you

Masira presents several factors that contribute to her feeling confident to bring her Islamic knowledge into her approach to providing mental health support. Which of these factors do you think is the most important in enabling her to do this? Please explain your answer.

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Understanding Mental Health in Muslim Communities

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