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Practitioner reflections on training around Muslim mental health

How can training be improved for mental health practitioners?

In this video, Marya Farag, mental health support worker at Diverse Cymru, considers her experiences of education and training and reflects upon whether she was taught the skills that would allow her to be Islamically sensitive in her approach to providing mental health support.

Marya holds an undergraduate degree in Psychology. She had only recently started work at Diverse Cymru when we spoke to her. Before this she had worked in a hospital setting providing support for children and young people.

Marya tells us that she had very few opportunities to learn about spirituality and cultural diversity during her degree. While working in a hospital setting, she acquired some skills through her own on-the-job experiences. Since working at Diverse Cymru, she has received training on providing support for ethnic minority communities, the target group for their support services. She describes her new skills as “amazing” and “simple” and mostly around cultural awareness. These seemingly small indicators of culture difference may represent a significant aspect of the religious lives of Muslim people that might be overlooked in mainstream support services, or even mistaken as a sign of mental health problem. Therefore, it can be very useful for practitioners to be aware of them.

She thinks that these skills would be useful for all practitioners to have, and that they should be included in mental health education and training, including in Psychology undergraduate degree programmes.

In the next step, we move on to consider the experiences of Muslim practitioners who work in religious settings when providing faith-based mental health support.

Over to you

Using your learning on the course, or your wider experience, can you think of one aspect of spiritual and/or cultural difference among Muslims that would be helpful for other practitioners to be aware of when providing mental health support?

This article is from the free online

Understanding Mental Health in Muslim Communities

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FutureLearn - Learning For Life

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