‘For indeed, with [every] hardship there is relief. Indeed, with [every] hardship there is relief’ [Qur’an, 94:5-6].
Dear readers, this blog post will cover a variety of topics to do with mental health and it’s awareness week coming up in October. This post will be discussing some sensitive topics and there will be trigger warnings in the event of heavier subjects.
Just like our physical health, our mental health is an Amanah (trust) from Allah SWT and it is our obligation to look after them both.
World Mental Health Day – 10th of October.
The team Touch of Khayr have conducted a number of different events and forms of content to help inform, inspire, and spread the message that there is power behind being OK, and if anyone is struggling, there is power behind seeking help and methods of recovery. Mental Health is a broad topic and we have picked out significant points of discussion to narrow it down for everyone.
First of all, we must make it a point to be aware of the severity of mental health; especially during COVID-19 where people have increased in struggle, growth and education surrounding their mental well-being. In fact, common mental health issues - such as depression and anxiety - are increasing among 16-24 year olds, with a 3 times higher chance in women than men (Centre for Mental Health, 2021). While reading this blog, we want you to reflect on your own struggles and lessons throughout your life, and we hope this helps you in some way.
The Power of Being OK – Touch of Khayr’s podcast on Mental Health
Each episode lasts 30-40 minutes long and involves numerous discussions regarding the initial topic. For example, members of the team were all generous in tips and tricks to crack social media and the ways that they catered their Instagram/Twitter feeds to suit their needs, such as self-care or spiritual/religious posts. These episodes only touch the surface of the entire conversation surrounding mental health and we did our best to stay true to ourselves meanwhile considering how transferable our ideas were to our audience. Once these episodes are released on YouTube & Instagram, do take the time to listen and watch as we open up about our vulnerabilities.
Touch of Khayr’s Mental Health Workshops
Next on our campaign is organising workshops in Islamic centres and primary schools in London. The aim is to spread awareness and equip young people, especially school children, about the impacts of mental health with ways of identifying it. The team will host these workshops in groups and give speeches, leaflets and tips to close the gap of children without knowledge of mental health. We think it’s imperative that at young ages children are made aware because there are often cases that you may spot symptoms and a child suffers in silence, that’s the last thing anyone would want.
Mental Health facts: [TW: self-harm & suicide]
- A study by Primak et all (2017) found a link between use of multiple social media platforms and increased depression and anxiety symptoms in young people aged 19-32.
- According to statistics, 1 in 6 people in the past week will have experienced a common mental health problem.
- Between 2004 and 2017 anxiety, depression, and self-harm increased particularly among teenaged girls. Self-harm is an important risk factor for suicide, rates of suicide among the UK’s children and young people also increased since 2017. Ford et al (2021).
- Young people with mental health problems who have contact with mental health services are significantly less likely to suffer from clinical depression later in their adolescence than those with equivalent difficulties who do not receive treatment, according to new research from the University of Cambridge.
- The male suicide rate for was 15.3 per 100,000 compared to the female suicide rate of 4.9 per 100,000.
- Males aged 45-49 continue to have the highest suicide rate of 23.8 per 100,000.
Nobody should suffer in silence, we are all here on Earth to be at each other’s side. Check on your family, friends and loved ones. You are not alone, let’s remind those around us that they’re not alone either. Let’s make mental health easier to talk about without judgement or shame. Let’s work together to spread awareness and break barriers, there shouldn’t be a taboo laced around mental health.
We must echo the compassion of the Prophet SAW, His compassion for his peers and those who mistreated him is a quality most loved by Allah SWT. Let us practice compassion with one another by checking on each other, advising or motivating each other on ways to move forward from a difficult time.
“Allah does not burden a soul beyond what it can bear” [Qur’an, 2:286]
Written by volunteer: Fatima Sellami