Psychoeducation - ILM
Our team is providing psychoeducation to Muslim communities to aid them with making informed decisions about their mental health care. There are two main legs of this effort.
This includes collaborating with Muslims to assist the mental health needs of those in their communities by:
1) Visiting mosques and community events to discuss mental health and answer questions (see image below)
2) Assisting Muslims with identifying mental health needs and how they may address them (see ILM below)
3) Contributing via blog posts to help Muslims navigate their mental health care (coming soon)
Masjid Nurul-Islam (10/28/22)
In collaboration with the South Florida Muslim Federation (SFMF)
An Islamic Lens on Mental Health (ILM)
This is Salman S. Ahmad's doctoral dissertation project, for which he received the Alkaram Institute Islamic Psychology Research Fellowship. Salman also received consultations from a team of Muslim mental health experts when developing this work. This includes Dr. Carrie York (Alkaram Institute), Dr. Rania Awaad (Stanford University's Muslim Mental Health and Islamic Psychology Lab; Maristan), Dr. Sameera Ahmad (The Family and Youth Institute), and Dr. Mona AboZena (University of Massachusetts Boston).
The workshop is in its final stages of preparation for delivery, and we are aiming to deliver ILM starting in August 2023.
Abstract: The mental health of Muslims living in the United States (MLUS) is at-risk, due to rising discrimination and low mental healthcare utilization. Muslims often resist mental healthcare for various reasons, including stigma, negative attitudes toward help-seeking, and low knowledge about mental health and resources. Muslims also tend to prefer religious/spiritual coping for psychological difficulties, often using it to avoid facing emotional difficulties (i.e., spiritual bypass). However, Islam highly encourages maintaining one’s health and treating illnesses. Further, many Muslims lack awareness of Islam's historical contributions to mental health, instead perceiving psychology as exclusively Western due to its secular stance and appropriation of religious practices (e.g., meditation). In response, the field of Islamic Psychology has been highlighting Islamic history and teachings relevant to Muslims’ mental health. As such, this study proposes to offer a culturally informed psychoeducational workshop, titled Islamic Lens on Mental Health (ILM), to MLUS based in Florida to increase the likelihood that they will seek professional help in times of distress. Attendees will interactively discuss various topics, such as their own views of mental health, and low help-seeking among Muslims. In return, they will be taught Islamic history and teachings around mental health, how to recognize mental health issues when they arise, and how various professionals can help. They will then be provided resources to facilitate their own care, such as a database of Muslim mental health professionals in Florida. Attendees will take surveys upon registration, and will retake the surveys immediately after ILM, and one and six months after ILM. Analyses of covariance (ANCOVAs) will assess change in the factors related to help seeking, and multiple mediation analyses will explore mechanisms of change in help seeking behaviors pre- and post ILM. Conversations with stakeholders and content analysis on the qualitative feedback from attendees will evaluate the program and guide future iterations.
Please reach out to Salman (email@example.com) if you would like to discuss this project.