On September 25, The Federal Minister of Health announced $10 Million in funding for community initiatives addressing mental health and its determinants in diverse Black communities across Canada. The new Promoting Health Equity: Mental Health of Black Canadians Fund will support Black Canadians to develop more culturally focused knowledge, capacity and programs to improve mental health in their communities
Syrian Canadian Sara Takieddin crowdfunded on LaunchGood.comin order to pay off the debts she accumulated while struggling with mental illness and financial distress as an immigrant to Canada after her marriage ended badly.
Eritrean Canadian researcher Munira Abdulwasi is running a series of talks focused on raising awareness about mental health issues.
Munira Abdulwasi is a PhD candidate studying Kinesiology and Health Science at York University. Her research interests include marginalized individuals living with chronic disease and the health needs of Canadian Aboriginal veterans. She was awarded funding through the York University Agents of Change competition to implement a Health Promotion Series at TARIC Islamic Centre in Toronto.
Muslim Link interviewed Munira about her work with TARIC and why she feels mosques can be sites of health promotion on a variety of topics, particularly mental health.
Each week Dr. Yusra Ahmad, a psychiatrist and clinical lecturer at University of Toronto, meets six to eight women with a range of mental health disorders at a mosque in the city’s west end. She leads them through a program that combines mindful meditation with concrete skills to manage negative thoughts and regulate emotions.
However, this is not your typical mindfulness therapy. Each session began with prayers from the Qur’an and incorporates teachings from Islamic scholars.
Muslim Link had the opportunity to interview Pakistani Canadian YouTuber Aima Warriach who wears niqab. Her profile as part of The Sisters Project by artist Alia Youssef recently appeared in The Globe and Mail. Aima is the winner of the Create Dialogue Challenge via Adobe 1324 and TEDxTeen. She is also a 2017 MAX Gala finalized in their Film for Change video competition. She writes and does graphic design for MuslimGirl. She is currently studying politics and governance at Ryerson University in Toronto.
Muslim Link would like to thank Umm Zaynab for her anonymous contribution which sheds light on a serious gap in Muslim community services in Canada.
The loss of a loved one is something that most of us will inevitably experience in the course of our lives. It is surprising then that there are very few resources available in our communities and in our institutions to help and support those experiencing such a loss. Our mosques and institutions often seem to think that in the event of a death, their role ends with settling matters of the funeral - bathing, offering funeral prayers for and burying the deceased.