As shown in the collected statistics, this feeling of hopelessness can often lead to suicidal thoughts among British Muslims, as many have nowhere to turn to when experiencing low mental health.
New report by Muslim Youth Helpline reveals the mental health struggle of many young British Muslims
The Muslim Youth Helpline has conducted a new survey with more than 1,000 young British Muslims on the status of their mental health, as well as on the access they do or do not have for mental health help.
Worryingly, the report found that 32% of young British Muslims have suffered with suicidal thoughts, 52% have suffered with depression, and 63% have struggled with anxiety. 40% of young men said they had spoken to no one about their latest mental health issue.
These numbers show an enormous need for our community to step up when it comes to mental health support initiatives. One Arab female, in her mid-20s from London, described how important it is to break the taboo around speaking about mental health:
Please continue to campaign for mental health services targeted at Muslims. There is so much taboo. Only recently did I learn that my dad is taken anti-depressants for years. If he was more open then it might have encouraged me to be more open. Sayyeds need to talk about it on the pulpit and not talk about it as though it is an uncommon mysterious issue.”
Many young British Muslims, even if acknowledging their own mental health issues, then struggle with finding help or finding a community willing to discuss ways to help support those suffering from mental health issues. The majority of those surveyed in this recent report admit to having a negative experience with health care services when it came to mental health.
As shown in the collected statistics, this feeling of hopelessness can often lead to suicidal thoughts among British Muslims, as many have nowhere to turn to when experiencing low mental health. Many spoke of the long waiting lists for therapists, as well as poor cultural sensitivity from their GPs in many cases.
Zohra Khaku, the Director of Muslim Youth Helpline, stated:
Faith based data is currently not available in the field of mental health. This research report is a vital data point in tracking the mental health of young British Muslims. The fact that respondents did not reach out for help highlights the need to tackle stigma, and there is a clear need for better access to mental health services. We call on future mental health surveys to build on these findings.”
Muslim Youth Helpline was founded by 18 year old Mohammed Sadiq Mamdani in 2001, and the services provided ensures non-judgemental, confidential, and culturally-sensitive support to those suffering with mental health issues. Just in the last five months, MYH has addressed and helped respond to more than 1,500 enquiries on issues like family dynamics, depression, anxiety, suicidal feelings, marriage, loneliness, pre-marital relationships, sexuality, and employment.
With new reports like these highlighting the importance of discussing and providing help with mental health issues, let us hope that our community becomes more open about discussing mental health in general.
To read the survery in full, click here.
To learn more about MYH, click here.