New health resource developed with Muslim communities addresses ‘depression’ stigma.
A series of short films examining common concerns about depression, anxiety and support amongst Muslim communities has been released for Mental Health Awareness Week.
The films, ‘Talking From The Heart,’ combine the advice of medical professionals and religious leaders to find a new language of communication, address stigma, and demystify support and therapy.
The resource is endorsed by Clare Gerada, chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), who says: “Maslaha have produced some really excellent resources on how to engage Muslim communities in vital social issues, such as health and education… The resource is something to look out for, especially as it is Mental Health Awareness Week.”
GPs and primary care practitioners will use the films with their clients, as well as community organisations and mosques, to raise awareness, change attitudes and signpost support.
The rise of mental health issues in Muslim communities and lack of practical resources is a commonly raised concern amongst medical professionals. Frequently, minority communities are not accessing or receiving effective support. The stigma of ‘mental illness’ often means that those who don’t feel well fear being isolated and ostracised from their community, so don’t seek support.
In partnership with AT Medics, London’s largest group of NHS GP practices, Maslaha has produced the ‘Talking From The Heart’ films focusing on mental health and depression. Working with doctors, nurses, patients, psychotherapists, Islamic scholars and imams, from the Somali, Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities, the films address some of the common concerns about depression and anxiety, such as: ‘I will bring shame to my family and community.’
“Those issues which the person keeps inside, instead of seeking help, cause further damage to the person,” says Somali psychotherapist Fadumo Omar Mohammed. Mukhtar Osman, imam of York Way Mosque, says: “As the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) said to one of his companions, tie up your camel and then trust in God that it won’t run away; therefore, it is important that we act as well as have faith.”
The short films in three spoken languages (Somali, Urdu and Bengali/Sylheti) with English subtitles can be viewed online at: talkingfromtheheart.org, which also has further information about the project and links to support services. For a free DVD, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Share the films throughout Mental Health Awareness Week, 13th – 19th May – your voice counts!