A CITY politician has praised local mosques for taking the first step to combat difficult mental health issues in the community.Source: The Glaswegian
MSP Humza Yousaf said he secured agreement with a trio of Glasgow mosques that their imams would address the topic at Friday prayers last week, as part of Mental Health Week.
Within the Muslim community mental health problems can carry a heavy stigma, said Mr Yousaf, and the mosques requested they not be identified because it remains such a sensitive topic.
One in four people in Scotland will have a mental health problem at some point in their life, according to mental health charity SAMH.
Mr Yousaf said: “We all know the stigma surrounding those with a mental health issue in our society.
“However, the stigma related to those from within the black and minority ethnic (BME) community can be even worse.
“I’ve heard countless stories of families being completely ignorant of the different mental health conditions that exist.
“Many in the community turn to imams and elders instead of seeking proper medical advice.”
The SNP member added: “Many families believe that so-called ‘black magic’ or a perceived lack of faith is to blame, when the person suffering really needs medical attention.
“In addition, once diagnosed, many families decide to isolate the relative suffering due to concepts such as so-called ‘family honour’ and ‘shame’.
“I congratulate the imams and mosques who are taking this vital step in ridding stigma from our community.”
Shaykh Amer Jamil, an Islamic scholar and founder of the Solas Foundation in Glasgow, said: “Imams and religious scholars have an important role to play in tackling mental health stigma.”
The Glaswegian was unable to reach the mosques involved with Mr Yousaf for comment before going to press.
Wednesday, 19 October 2011
Muslims Believe Black Magic Causes Mental Health Problems
Our old friend Humza reveals that many Muslims in Glasgow believe mental health problems are caused by black magic. It would be interesting to see some figures on the incidence of mental health problems in the Muslim population. There are strong statistical correlations between the practice of cousin marriage and various kinds of ill health.