Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and to commemorate it we are excited to introduce the “Mental Health and Research Committee” (MHRC). The purpose of the MHRC is to elevate and amplify community mental health needs and issues, and publish original research that provides insights into AMHP and American Muslim communities more generally.

The MHRC is committed to inclusion and diversity because it fosters a more creative and innovative workforce. We value an interdisciplinary and diverse team that reflects our constituents and professional society. To that end, if you feel you can make a contribution to our efforts, the Committee invites you to join us.

We have many critical projects in the works, including a khutbah on panic and anxiety being developed in collaboration with Islamic scholars, and original research that we are conceptualizing. Stay tuned for updates!

We invite you to read our newsletter with short articles from Committee members Bilal Abbas, Shady Shebak, Moona Chaudhry, and Atif Adam.

Sincerely, 

The Mental Health and Reserach Committee

Mental Health and Research Committee Newsletter

The Hidden Victims of Covid-19 and Roles Health Professionals Must Continue to Play

Bilal T. Abbas, MPA, MSW, CADC

Chair, MHRC, AMHP
Director, Chapter Development, AMHP

As health professionals, it is our duty to ensure that the underrepresented and vulnerable among us are not overlooked. What must be avoided at all cost is driving the already disadvantaged further underground, and widening pre-existing healthcare disparities. These populations include people of color, immigrants, the undocumented, the homeless, those with preexisting mental health conditions, those involved with the justice system and with substance use issues, victims of domestic violence and human trafficking, among others.

Where Does Our State of Mental Health Go From Here?

By: Rukhsana Chaudhry, Psy.D.

Director of Mental Health Programming, AMPH

As a faith-based community and as a nation, we need to recognize the place that stress and trauma have in our lives. People who have suffered trauma previously are now further at risk for poor mental health outcomes that may include depression, anxiety, and additional traumatic responses. Isolation can aggravate much of what we feel that we have already been struggling with and can instill a sense of hopelessness.

The Future Shock of Healthcare

By: Shady S. Shebak, MD

Vice President, AMHP

We, as healthcare professionals, must be ready for major changes in our field, which will include more widespread use of tele-health, technology, digital footprints to predict patients’ health, and less brick and mortar operations. Other changes that may soon arrive may include more distance learning for all sectors of healthcare. This will happen, and it may make some nervous, but my advice is to prepare for the future, so that as it arrives, it will not surprise you. Embrace changes now, before being forced into changes in a few years.

Community in the Time of Coronavirus

By: Dr. Atif Adam Ph.D., MD, MPH

Treasurer, AMHP

The COVID-19 crisis has ushered in a “new normal” in 2020 and is widely viewed as the most disruptive event of our times. With all countries actively battling the COVID-19 virus, it has taken its toll in everyday lives the world over, both personally and professionally. The pressing mental health need doesn’t have a vaccine or therapeutic to offer as a quick fix. Even before 2020, 1-in-5 Americans reported experiencing a mental illness in a given year(1). Social distancing measures over the past few months have further exacerbated feelings of anxiety, loneliness, and isolation.

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