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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

Feeling stressed? New mental health information leaflet for Muslims

Embargoed until 28 May 2012

A new mental health information leaflet for Muslims has been published today by the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

The leaflet, Feeling Stressed? – A Leaflet for Muslims, outlines clearly and simply what mental illness is and emphasises the importance of seeking medical help. The leaflet answers common questions such as: “What is mental illness”, “What if my problem is caused by Jinn possession or evil eye?” and “What about faith healers and traditional remedies?”. It also explains what a doctor can do to help someone with a mental health problem and the types of treatments that are available.

 

The leaflet was written and developed by psychiatrist Dr Kamran Ahmed, who said: "Research has shown that Muslims in the UK rate themselves as more likely than other faith groups to use religious coping behaviour, and are less likely to seek social support or professional help for certain types of mental illness. This suggests a need to address the barriers to help-seeking in Muslims, which include cultural and traditional beliefs about mental health problems, knowledge and familiarity with formal services, perceived societal stigma, and the use of informal resources."

 

Dr Ahmed continued: "I developed the leaflet with the assistance of fellow psychiatrist Dr Abrar Hussain and input from the Royal College of Psychiatrists, the Muslim Council of Britain and the 4Minds Project, a local voluntary organisation. The content was also informed by a focus group of young Muslims and Islamic religious leaders. We evaluated their knowledge and attitudes to mental illness and help-seeking before and after reading the leaflet at a mosque in North London, and found an improvement on a number of outcomes. We now intend to disseminate the leaflet as widely as possible in the hope that it will help Muslims to understand mental illness and encourage them to seek professional help when needed."


For further information, please contact:
Kathy Oxtoby or Deborah Hart in the Communications Department.

Telephone: 0203 701 2544 or 0203 701 2538

 

Note to editors:

Feeling stressed? A leaflet for Muslims can be downloaded from the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ website: www.rcpsych.ac.uk/info. For print copies, contact: leaflets@rcpsych.ac.uk

 

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