Mental Health

The State of Mental Health in American & the Muslim Community

One in four people will be impacted by a mental or neurological disorder at some point in their lives, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide (WHO, 2018). In America, over 40 million people – or 1 in 5 Americans – currently suffer from a mental health condition. The Muslim community is no exception and maybe at an even greater risk for overlooking warning signs and symptoms due to a lack of knowledge, awareness, and stigmatization. According to a study conducted by the Institute for Social Policy & Understanding, Muslims often turn to religious leaders for counsel which raises issues since religious leaders are not equipped with the tools or resources to address mental health crises. For that reason, AMHP has made it a top priority to bring Mental Health First Aid to various communities throughout the country. By training Imams, community members, Islamic School teachers, and staff, AMHP is improving mental health literacy and awareness

Why Mental Health First Aid
Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is an educational program that helps individuals and communities identify, understand and respond to mental health crises and illnesses when they occur. Similar to how CPR training helps a layperson assist an individual following a heart attack, MHFA training helps a layperson assist someone experiencing a mental health crisis. Studies show that MHFA is an evidence-based program that saves lives, improves the mental health of individuals administering care and the one receiving it, expands knowledge of mental illnesses and their treatments, increases the services provided and reduces overall stigma by improving mental health literacy. 

Most importantly, our team of Mental Health Trainers are Muslim and have a greater understanding and awareness of cultural and faith-based approaches to mental health. They are able to deliver culturally competent courses that address unique mental health challenges facing American Muslims including discrimination, prejudice, and islamophobia.

Youth Mental Health First Aid
Youth Mental Health First Aid is primarily designed for adults who regularly interact with young people (age 12-18). The course introduces common mental health challenges for youth, reviews typical adolescent development, and teaches a 5-step action plan for how to help young people in both crisis and non-crisis situations. Topics covered include anxiety, depression, substance use, disorders in which psychosis may occur, disruptive behavior disorders (including AD/HD), and eating disorders (National Council for Behavioral Health, 2019). 

Who Can Attend an MHFA Training?
MHFA courses are typically one-day training and appropriate for a wide variety of audiences over the age of 18, including but not limited to: members of faith communities and their leaders, youth directors, community health workers, employers, and business leaders, law enforcement personnel, educators and medical providers. 

AMHP's MHFA Instructor

Lena Ismail

Abeda Khanam

Kameelah Waheed Wilkerson

Dr. Omar Shareef

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