Muslim Women’s Mental Health: A Study


Muslim Women’s Mental Health: A Study

The community-based research project, Muslim Women’s Mental Health, asked Muslim women in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) to describe their first-hand experiences of mental health and mental health services.

In Canada, Muslims are the targets of significant hate crime, aggression and discrimination. Muslim women in particular face discrimination and ill-treatment, even more so than Muslim men. This may be because the practice of wearing the hijab is a visible expression of Muslim women’s religion. It is not surprising that experiencing aggression and discrimination can go hand and hand with mental health difficulties. This study suggests that this is true for Muslim women in the GTHA.

The researchers in this study hosted focus groups with 13 Muslim women and interviewed 10 mental health professionals in order to understand how to improve mental health services and supports for Muslim women. The study also looked at why Muslim women may not be accessing services, and how to encourage them to seek support.

The women in the study revealed that they faced stigma and discrimination – both within and outside the Muslim community. There were cultural, religious or family stigmas about mental health that prevented women from accessing much needed mental health care. The women also faced service providers who didn’t understand their culture and faith, and who judged them.

Download the study HERE.

Source: Canadian Mental Health Association

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