What are some the main challenges facing Muslim Americans when it comes to mental health?
  • "I think, similar to other faith groups, the main challenge would be stigma associated with mental health.

    The prevalence rate of mental health challenges in the American population is about one in five American adults. [Mental health professionals] don’t think that the rate is different for American Muslims — it’s probably about the same. But many people go without seeking counseling or any other support because of stigma.

    That stigma stems from religious but also cultural beliefs. With the American Muslim community being so diverse, what I try to do in my work with the Muslim Wellness Foundation is to highlight some of those barriers to seeking counseling that are rooted in religious beliefs.

    It is the idea or the belief that if someone is suffering with a mental health challenge, that is somehow a reflection of lack of faith or punishment from God for a previous sin, or the belief that this challenge requires just patience and perseverance and prayer, and that should alleviate what the person is going through. It leads to a lot of religious shaming."