Twice a month, a Muslim mental professional offers consultation to young Muslims online, answering all questions related to mental health issues. The consultation is taking place on the the popular r/Islam subreddit, sponsored by the nonprofit Khalil Center, a faith-based psychological and spiritual wellness organization. The Khalil Center focuses on providing psychology services “rooted in Islamic principles.”
“One of the issues with youth is that they’re very tentative to seek help,” says Dr. Fahad Khan, deputy director at the Khalil Center. “They might have issues with their parents, or their parents don’t understand them, so they go online and try to find some way to talk to people and get help.”
Thus far most online posters have focused on personal traumas as well as issues with losing faith and conflict with their parents. One user asks: “What would you say are the challenges of Muslims to be accepted among non-Muslim peers and among Muslim peers?” Another confided: “I don’t know what’s the point of life is when the endgame is a reunion with Allah, but meanwhile here in life the long wait is so depressive.”
Increasingly, Muslim organizations are creating services to offer youth mental health care, at local mosques and through such initiatives as the Institute of Muslim Mental Health, the Muslim Wellness Foundation, SEEMA: Support Embrace Empower Mental Health Advocacy and the Center for Muslim Mental Health and Islamic Psychology at the University of Southern California.