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 Psychology 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. The workshop is not ready for delivery yet, as it is pending consultations from a team of Muslim mental health experts as well as a dissertation committee at the University of Miami. We are aiming to deliver ILM starting in March/April 2023.
Abstract: Muslims living in the United States (MLUS) are facing a mental health crisis, due to rising discrimination, poorer mental health relative to their non-Muslim counterparts, and the low utilization of mental healthcare. Muslims resist mental healthcare due to high stigma, negative attitudes toward help-seeking, and low knowledge about mental health and resources. Muslims also prefer religious/spiritual coping for psychological difficulties, often using it to avoid facing emotional difficulties (i.e., spiritual bypass). However, Islamic teachings highly encourage maintaining one’s health and treating illnesses. Further, many Muslims lack awareness of Islam's historical contributions to mental health, instead perceiving psychology as “colonized” due to its historically secular stance and the appropriation of certain religious practices (e.g., meditation). In response, the field of Islamic Psychology has been highlighting Islamic history and teachings relevant to mental health for Muslims. As such, this study proposes to offer a culturally informed psychoeducational workshop, titled Islamic Psychology lens on Mental Health (ILM), to MLUS based in Florida to break down their disinclination to seek professional help in times of distress. Attendees will interactively discuss various topics, such as their own views of mental health, and reasons for low help-seeking among Muslims. In response, 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 with 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 at one and six months after ILM. Structural equation modeling will assess ILM’s effectiveness in addressing the factors that contribute to low help-seeking, and multilevel modeling will assess which of those factors mediated improvements in help-seeking behaviors over six months.
Please reach out to Salman (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like to discuss this project.