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The Muslim community in the United States is a growing yet the utilization of mental health services remains fairly low. Muslims in the United States are a minority group who face increasing religious, cultural, and ethnic discrimination. Do these facts fully explain the reason why services are not sought? Is it the stigma attached to mental illness in general or cultural ideas and norms?

Imams counsel their members across a wide range of difficulties. Some serious mental health needs exceed their expertise and greater clinical involvement is needed. Other occasions the distinction between mental and spiritual problems is not determined. Additionally, reluctance to make referrals is often centered in the belief that clinicians may not be perceptive to the religious values, seeing them as contradictory to the practice.

This discussion is concerned with bridging the gap between our community, those seeking help that most need it and the ideas, conditions and practices that prevent it.