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Imams' experiences providing mental health support

Imam Dr Haroon Sidat presents emerging findings from the ‘Understanding British Imams Project’

In this step, Imam Dr Haroon Sidat, Research Associate at the Centre for the Study of Islam in the UK, presents emerging findings from the ‘Understanding British Imams Project’.

You can find out more about the project by following the link below.

Dr Sidat, along with Dr Riyaz Timol (project lead), have been conducting a detailed study of the roles and experiences of British imams. As part of this research, they conducted qualitative interviews with imams. They found that the provision of mental health support was part of the everyday work of imams, and that some identified a pressing need for imams to be better-informed about mental health and trained to provide this support.

In this video, Dr Sidat describes the experiences of imams when dealing with mental health problems in Muslim communities and shares some examples and quotes from research interviews. The findings suggest that imams who are knowledgeable about mental health tend to signpost people to mainstream mental health professionals, mainly GPs, in the first instance. They continue to provide spiritual support alongside any mainstream support.

Findings from the Imams Project highlight that imams require training and further information on how to identify mental health problems, and where (and how) to signpost people to appropriate services.


BBSI Mental Health Toolkit for Imams, Scholars and Mosques.

Find out more about the Understanding British Imams Project, at Centre for the Study of Islam in the UK, Cardiff University.

Over to you

Where do you signpost to when you identify mental health problems? What are your experiences of doing this? Do you have any guidance or advice for other learners?

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Understanding Mental Health in Muslim Communities

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