Research exhibits that high suicide attempt were a result of two rigorous components: religious discrimination and community disfavor — the factors that prevent Muslim American communities from seeking mental health counseling.
There are many ways that we as a community can help those suffering from mental health problems or even suicidal thoughts. The first is to recognize that this issue is prevalent in the Muslim community – pushing it under the rug for fear of what others will think is not an option. We are hopeful to see more and more of our community masajid and organizations tackling this topic head on.
Decreasing the stigma surrounding mental health is the first step; the second is to seek treatment when necessary. Through CIOGC’s committee, Zakat Chicago, free treatment, and counseling is available at the Khalil Center, ‘a psychological and spiritual community wellness center advancing the professional practice of psychology rooted in Islamic principles.‘ In addition, through our partner Advocate Aurora Health, mental health counseling is available at different locations throughout the greater Chicago area.
In this way we hope to build resilience amongst individuals and our larger Muslim community. Building resilience empowers individuals to steer their own lives, taking responsibility for what they can and cannot control and simply move forward.