*The 'Talking From The Heart' health resource has now launched for Mental Health Awareness Week, 13-19 May 2013 - films and useful links at: http://www.talkingfromtheheart.org/*
The rise of mental health issues in Muslim communities is a concern that is constantly raised in the course of our health work.
During our work in diabetes, cardio-vascular disease and perinatal mortality, nurses and doctors have constantly raised depression as a commonly-occuring issue amongst their Muslim patients. There is a recognition that not enough is being done to tackle this in terms of education for patients and practitioners.
Maslaha has been commissioned by AT Medics, London's largest group of NHS GP practices, to produce a resource focusing on mental health and depression.
The course of treatment is made more difficult by the fact that there is no direct translation for the word ‘depression’ in Urdu, Sylheti, Arabic and Somali, for instance. As such, as a ‘Western’ illness with ‘Western’ treatment, effective support can be complicated, drawn-out and challenging.
Mental illness is also associated with entrenched stigma, and those who don’t feel well fear isolation so don’t seek support. For those who do seek support, there are often communication problems, both linguistically, culturally and spiritually, with the medical profession. A number of health practitioners have commented on feeling limited in providing care and support, if the clients reach them at all.
In collaboration with Somali, Pakistani, and Bangladeshi community groups, counsellors, psychotherapists, clients, imams and GPs, Maslaha has created short films which can be used by medical practitioners with their clients. The films will seek to address the stigma felt by those who feel ‘low,’ and to demystify support and therapy, as well as to signpost relevant services.
You can also have a look at our Mental health blog!
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