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Muslim Mental Health Conference Goes Global

Up close view of a globle, with sun rays and a orange background

Since it began at Michigan State University more than a decade ago, the Muslim Mental Health Conference through the College of Osteopathic Medicine has brought scholars, students, mental health professionals and religious leaders together to share knowledge about addressing the stigma of mental health in Muslim communities.

The conference is now an international event, with the first Global Muslim Mental Health Conference having taken place in Malaysia last July. The next global event is set for Sept. 7-8 in Cambridge, England. It will be held in partnership with the Centre for Mental Health Research in association with the University of Cambridge.

“The Centre for Mental Health Research hosts a similar mental health conference,” said Farha Abbasi, assistant professor of psychiatry and the Muslim Mental Health Conference founder. “One of the presenters at our 2018 Washington D.C. conference is based at the center and suggested we dovetail off their conference with the specific focus on Muslim mental health.

Farah Abbasi, assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry, specializes in mental health issues among Muslims. Photo by Derrick L. Turner

The conference will feature research presentations, panel discussions and a keynote address from Jonas Kunst, associate professor of psychology at the University of Oslo, who developed and validated the Perceived Islamophobia Scale, or PIS, showing that Islamophobia is associated with psychological distress in Muslims. He is also the founder and director of the Culture, Society & Behavior Research Lab in Oslo.

“By coming together from so many countries, we are sure to discover and share new pathways, approaches and treatments that will raise awareness of the cultural and religious nuances that have to be understood when determining how best to support Muslims,” Abbasi said.

To learn more, visit the conference webpage at http://psychiatry.msu.edu/events/2019_Global_Mental_Health_Conference.html

Laura Probyn via MSU Today

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