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Course summary

In this final article, we summarise the main important learning points from the course.
The development team from left to right: Mark Bryant, Shaykh Dr Asim Yusuf, Dewi Parry, Dr Asma Khan, Andrew Hilbourne
© Cardiff University, Mark Bryant

Congratulations on completing Understanding Muslim Mental Health, we hope that you have enjoyed your learning journey. In this final article, we summarise the main important learning points from the course.

In this short course, you have been introduced to contemporary research, analysis, and practice in the field of Muslim Mental Health. Throughout the course, you have become familiar with key concepts from the fields of mental health and Islam. You have learnt about lived experiences of ‘being Muslim’ in a minority context, and how social, cultural, and economic characteristics can affect mental health experiences. You have developed an appreciation of the ways that religion and spirituality can affect mental health in positive and negative ways.

Course educators have provided practical guidance around asking questions that might help you to develop a holistic understanding of the mental health experiences of Muslims. They have encouraged you to develop understandings that encompass the biological, psychological, social, and spiritual causes of mental health problems. You have reflected on your own practice to consider ways in which you might apply this guidance and discussed your observations and questions with other learners.

The course has given you the opportunity to participate in conversations with the wide range of practitioners who provide mental health support for Muslim communities. This dialogue is widely considered to be important to develop better understandings of, and support for, Muslim mental health. You have taken part in shared learning and mutual professional development between Muslim and non-Muslim practitioners, and those working in mainstream or religious settings – perhaps those people you might not encounter in your day-to-day work.

Through your personal and shared reflections, the course was intended to be a ‘safe space’ to explore your professional practices, background, assumptions, and your approaches to mental health issues. You have been encouraged to develop a more informed and empathic awareness of Muslim worldviews and mental health experiences, and to consider ways in which you might provide mental health support differently because of this more sensitive and informed awareness. We hope it has been an opportunity for personal and professional growth.

You have been introduced to some of the Muslim organisations and individuals, often working at grass-roots level, who provide targeted mental health support for Muslim communities. Unfortunately, and inevitably, it was not possible to include the full range of people who do this important work. You are now aware, however, that mental health problems are seen as a pressing issue that requires urgent attention by Muslim communities, and there are places and people you can contact for additional resources and information on Islam and Muslims. And for Muslim practitioners providing mental health support in religious or community settings, you have gained an awareness of mainstream support and information around mental health from the statutory and voluntary sectors. Importantly, you benefitted from informed perspectives of Muslim communities as dynamic and capable of change, with the capacity and capability to take an active and collaborative role in promoting better mental health for their members.

Overall, we have aimed to equip you with an introductory knowledge of the relationship between Islam and mental health, and to provide you with a safe space to develop and practice skills around having conversations to understand how Islam and being Muslim can impact on mental health. We hope that, for many learners, this will be the beginning of a longer learning journey around Muslim Mental Health to develop deeper understandings and the skills required to provide more appropriate support.

Please complete the course feedback form. This will give us useful information to improve this course and help us to develop ideas for future learning and research activities.

If you find that completing the course changes or improves the way in which you provide mental health support for Muslims, even if in a small way, we would love to hear from you. Please get in touch with the development team by email address if you would like to share your journey in more detail: Email the development team.

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Reflective Prompts

Which aspect of your learning on the course is likely to have an impact on the way you provide mental health support? What will this look like in practice for you?

Which of the topics in Understanding Muslim Mental Health would you like to know more about? What will you do to find out more?

What aspect of your learning are you most likely to share with others? How might you do this?

Over to you

What have you found to be the most useful new piece of information you have learnt on this course?

© Cardiff University, Asma Khan & Sophie Gilliat-Ray
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Understanding Mental Health in Muslim Communities

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