Muslims have a long history of caring for people with significant mental health challenges in way that mirror the recovery culture and environments that are being established today. However, many Muslims have forgotten this historical belief in recovery, good care, and hope. With the immense stigma and hate mongering against Muslims, and the stigma within their own community, it is tremendously difficult for Muslims with mental health challenges to seek care inside the community or outside. This layered stigma creates immense barriers, fear, and discomfort for Muslims who may be experiencing tremendous difficulties to reach out for needed help.
These barriers are even more significant because of the tremendous trauma that exists in the Muslim community. The refugees who come to the United States have experienced violence and fear unimaginable to most Americans. Using the ACEs study as a basis of measuring results of violence and trauma in childhood, and the significant body of knowledge gained from studying trauma and PTSD, we are presented with a massive need for trauma support for adults and children who are immigrants. However, even Muslim Americans, experience significant trauma from violence, the constant news about wars, hate, and bigotry being expressed by candidates for the highest office in the land, news stations, and interviews with people who are not well informed, increases the fear of reaching out and saying help is needed.
Muslim communities are beginning to take notice of the risks to the mental health of their congregation and steps are being taken to help leaders understand the need for wise and thoughtful care. Steps are being taken to increase understanding of available services. However, strong advocacy is necessary to prevent individuals seeking assistance from receiving help by individuals who do not understand Islam, make judgements about Muslim people, or who hate Muslims because of ignorance and bigotry.
Methods of facilitation: Didactic, interactive, and collaborative interaction PowerPoint, discussion, and flip chart interaction
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