Mental Health Statistics
The Pew Research Centre reports that as of 2010, one fifth of the global 1.6 billion Muslim community resides in a non-Muslim majority country . Uniquely the Muslim community in the UK is a significantly younger one, with the 2011 census data showing that the average age of the British Muslim population is 25 years, compared to 40 years in the general population .
It is widely recognised that mental health problems are responsible for the greatest proportion of ill health in the 10-18 age range . The World Health Organization (WHO) defines mental health as not simply the absence of disorder but ‘a state of wellbeing in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community’.
Rates of access to secondary mental health services for BME groups are lower than their Caucasian counterparts . South Asians are the least likely to be referred to specialist services, even in regions like Birmingham where they form the BME group most frequently consulting primary care providers . Black ethnic groups have been repeatedly shown to be the most likely to engage with mental health services in an acute setting in A&E as the first point of contact rather than primary care .
Muslims are less inclined, compared to other religious groups, to seek mental health services because they highlight a preference for help with a religious underpinning . The link between Islamophobia and Muslims’ mental health has also been recognised. Muslims do not openly discuss their fears and concerns regarding mental health because of potential Islamophobia, so they are less likely to seek mental health services . In general, there is a fear held by many Muslims of being “doubly stigmatised”, both by the Muslim community for having a mental illness and by the rest of the population for being non-white and Muslim .
The above text has been taken from our 2019 research report where we surveyed 1,077 Muslims aged 16-30. The survey resulted in the following findings:
32% have suffered through suicidal thoughts.
63% have suffered from anxiety.
1/4 of respondents have had identity struggles.
1/2 of respondents went to friends for help the last time they had an issue.
40% of men said they spoke to nobody about their last issue.
52% have suffered through depression.
Over a third (37%) of younger respondents (16-22 year olds) went to nobody for support the last time they had an issue. This was significantly more than their older counterparts, of whom 29% kept their issue to themselves.
When asked ‘do you feel you have enough easy access to help when you need it?’, more than 40% answered ‘no, not really’.
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 Shabir Banday, “Mental Health Issues Amongst Muslim Women Residing in South East Glasgow Community Health and Care Partnership Boundary: A Study of Their Beliefs, Knowledge and Service Access Issues,”