PLEASE NOTE: this blog post contains content that may be triggering to readers who have had suicide impact their lives or those of their loved ones.
Of all the alarm bells in the Muslim community ringing to wake us up to the stark reality and work that needs to be done on-the-ground, the issue of suicide among Muslims is perhaps ringing loudest.
Yet, due to the stigma surrounding the issue, light is not being shed to the degree necessary amongst us.
A recent article highlighting the work of Dr. Rania Awaad and other Muslim mental health professionals discusses the issue and is worth a read.
As the article states, Dr. Awaad’s work, “took on new urgency in the aftermath of an apparent murder-suicide that left six family members dead in Allen, Texas, in April, sending shock waves through Muslim communities in the area and beyond. Investigators believe two brothers made a pact to kill their parents, sister and grandmother before taking their own lives.”
Stories like this are hard for many Muslims to believe. However, for those working with Muslims in the field of mental health it is deeply disturbing and saddening to the core, although not shocking unfortunately.
We know this exists within our own Maryland communities as well.
The previously referenced article is based on an academic study lead by Dr. Awaad. The study is based on interviews with thousands of US Muslims, and found that they are two times more likely to have attempted suicide than other faith communities. This finding was attributed primarily due to the impacts of racism and discrimination, but also, importantly, to the absence of credible sources of emotional and mental help and support.
Between the twin rises in atheism and suicide among Muslims in the US, the cost of neglecting preventative interventions in the lives of people, young and old, in our communities is no less than death – whether it be spiritual or physical.
We know these are very unpleasant topics and only discuss them due to the heavy price of silence.
Alhamdulillah, CML works to provide the community, with an emphasis on youth, with resources to intervene in the lives of people who may be struggling before the issues balloon out of control and become clinical in nature.
We encourage you to attend the upcoming CML virtual fundraiser on November 13th at 5:30pm to learn more about CML’s efforts to take part in uplifting our community, and how you can be part of the solution, God willing.
If you cannot attend the event, please considering giving now in the most convenient method for you:
One-time gifts can be made with no fees here.
Recurring gifts can be set up here.
Text COUNSEL to 44321