Who We Are
The Stanford Muslim Mental Health & Islamic Psychology Lab serves as an academic home for the study of mental health in the context of the Islamic faith and Muslim populations. The Lab aims to provide intellectual resources to clinicians, researchers, trainees, educators, community, and religious leaders working with or studying Muslims.
What We Do
The Lab conducts extensive research into understanding Muslims’ unique needs pertaining to mental health and the Islamic faith. Furthermore, it aims to tackle the stigma surrounding the Muslim community regarding seeking mental health services, and the association between mental health and spirituality. The Lab is committed to providing resources to increase the quality and accessibility of mental health services for Muslims in the United States and worldwide.
Recognition & Collaboration
The lab has received national and global recognition for its research and contributions to Muslim populations’ mental health needs. We welcome the collaboration of scholars and organizations across the globe dedicated to developing the fields of Muslims Mental Health and Islamic Psychology.
Lines of Research
The historical line aims to rediscover and unearth the lost practices of psychiatry and psychology pioneered by Muslim scholars of different fields in Islamic history that allude to the significance of mental health as an integral part of premodern Islamic culture. These practices encompassed basic mental healthcare, as well as how mental illnesses were perceived, classified, diagnosed, and treated at the time. This research sheds light on the forgotten significance of mental health that is now common in modern Muslim cultures. To date, the lab has reviewed and synthesized over 200 medical manuscripts written from between the 6th and 17th centuries.
The Islamic Psychology line integrates traditional Islamic principles and psychology to develop an Islamically orientated approach to psychotherapy. It aims to bridge modern psychology and Islamic principles to destigmatize mental health. Many Muslims may reject modern mental health practices because they lack spiritual sensitivity. This information can help provide the foundation to develop modalities for psychotherapy that adhere to Islamic ideologies and are congruent with the Islamic belief system. This line of research is used to showcase that psychology and Islam are not mutually exclusive.
The Suicide Awareness Line focuses on encouraging the conversation of suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention in the Muslim community. It also aims to prepare leaders of the community on how to facilitate these conversations by developing practical tools and educational content. Because the topic of suicide is viewed as taboo, the Muslim community is not properly equipped with the necessary knowledge to understand suicide in its entirety. This line aims to diversify the literature, create educational tools, and destigmatize suicide and suicide-relatedtopics for the Muslim community.
Substance Abuse and Addiction
The Substance Abuse and Addiction Line seeks to equip Muslims with a culturally informed framework and set of practical resources to support individuals, families, and the communities at large dealing with substance abuse and addiction. Although the topic of substance use and addiction is surrounded with hesitation, these discussions must take place. With increased discussion and knowledge, more communities, families, and individuals will be better equipped in the face of such challenges. To provide knowledge and destigmatize the following topic, the lab is working on expanding literature that explores a model of understanding and combating addiction with the use of neurobiology, public health, and policy, as well as Islamic jurisprudence, ethics, and spirituality.
Social Justice and Muslim Mental Health
The Social Justice and Muslim Mental Health Line addresses the psychological impact of discrimination and Islamophobia on the well-being of Muslims. Muslim Americans face various types of discrimination in regards to the unique aspects of their identity whether it be religion, race, and ethnicity, or gender. To better understand and address the unique challenges, the lab is evaluating the psychological effect of micro and macro-aggressions and using those findings to educate the public.
Global Mental Health
The Global Mental Health Line aims to understand the psychosocial wellbeing and mental health challenges of the refugee population within a global context. The displacement caused by political agendas has impacted the lives of countless innocent bystanders which undoubtedly has caused severe mental trauma within these populations. This line intends to explore the psychosocial conditions of refugee experiences to create the most efficient approach to address their mental health challenges.
Community-Based Participatory Research
The Community-Based Participatory Research Line aims to understand how specific Muslim communities facilitate the spread of mental health awareness to adequately meet the needs of their community. Due to the diversity of Muslim communities, it is important to understand how each community functions to provide the best approach to mental healthcare. The goal of this research line is to create a model of how community-based mental health support is implemented.
The Psychometric Scales Line intends to fill in the gaps within existing validated scales that do not fully encompass Muslim practices or experiences. Muslims constitute a significant part of the global population thus it is imperative to design research that is inclusive of Muslim principles. By developing scales that accurately measure the attitudes and perceptions of Muslim populations, the research conducted on Muslim mental health is more precise.
The Ethics Line is designed to help clinicians, researchers, and community leaders better understand the ethical underpinnings of Islam’s moral stance on psychiatric and mental health issues. The purpose of this line is to use Islamic principles to guide the approach on supporting Muslim patients.
The Ethics Line’s goal is to help clinicians, researchers, and community helpers to better understand the ethical underpinnings of Islam's moral stance to the various medical and mental health-related issues. The purpose is to combine Islamic principles and standard medical and mental health practices.
Muslim Mental Health Database
The Muslim Mental Health Database project aims to compile published literature dating back from the 1960s to the present day. Articles included will contain a psychological and Islamic component. Upon completion, the database will be accessible to the public to provide the most up-to-date literature within a single confided database.
Culture and Religion
The Culture and Religion Line aims to integrate spirituality and religion into training culturally competent clinicians and health care workers. For individuals whose spirituality and religion is of great value, it is important to incorporate those values into treatment to provide the most holistic care possible. This line prepares clinicians to have the comprehensive knowledge and skills necessary to properly treat a diverse population.
The Psychoeducation Line utilizes different mediums of spreading information to inform the public about various aspects of psychology and mental health. The literature surrounding psychology is technical and so it may be difficult for the general public to recognize how mental health manifests, thus it is important to translate the complexity of these topics into easily comprehensible measures. The purpose of this line is to convert our research as well as existing research into educational tools to cultivate an informed understanding of mental health within the Muslim community.