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“Only the crazy or possessed seek counselling” and “Muslims who are strong in faith will not need counselling” – these are popular myths that need to be addressed as they prevent many who need counselling from benefitting from it.

Society at large needs to step away from stigmatising those who seek counselling and understand that mental illness is indiscriminate and affects people from all backgrounds.

There is a need for a paradigm shift to break this stigma within our community; all stakeholders – parents, teachers, and caregivers – need to catch up with the ever-changing world or risk getting caught in a loop.

"It’s a common misconception that religion and mental health don’t coincide and this stigma is associated with cultural backgrounds and traditions."

Technology and Mental Health

The advent of technology, in particular the compulsive use of social media and handheld devices, has deteriorated mental health. Whilst many are benefitting from the ever-changing world, there are just as many who are finding the change destructive to themselves, and to their relationships with God and with society. Recent research shows that excessive use of social media can intensify feelings of anxiety, depression, and isolation; one may feel inadequate with his or her own life fuelling unnecessary jealousy. Cyberbullying, like an offensive comment, is now affecting 10% of teens.

The challenge for counsellors here is getting the ones who need help to seek help.

Support System Involving Stakeholders is Needed for Full Recovery

The recovery process will need to have a good support system to see victims through to full recovery and counsellors play a key role in helping stakeholders better manage this change.

 

"To have a few people as your backbone, whom you can trust in asking for help, can help you overcome your everyday challenges."

"Research has shown that a good support system provides a positive impact on your mental health." In the course of his work, Mahdi Ahmed found that there were many instances where stakeholders such as parents and other caregivers seek out his help to understand their changes and help them cope with challenges in their lives.

Mahdi Ahmed and other counsellors like him offer their services on ImamConnect. Click here.

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