MLPI Makes a Global Contribution to the Mental Health Conversation
After 10 years of being successfully conducted in the US, this year the interdisciplinary Muslim Mental Health Conference (MMH) extends internationally for the first time to be held in Jordan. The program takes place immediately after the Annual International Conference on Transgenerational Trauma, at the Retaj Hotel in Amman.
The MMH conference is presented as a partnership between Michigan State University Department of Psychiatry (MSU), Common Bond Institute (CBI), and the International Humanistic Psychology Association (IHPA).
This year’s program theme was “Global Mental Health,” bringing together practitioners, academics, faith leaders, health care providers, and researchers to share perspectives, theory, research, and practices. Its purpose is to:
- Examine how challenges to mental health impact diverse communities, including unique characteristics of faith communities,
- Share effective and culturally appropriate models and methods of assessment and service,
- De-stigmatize mental health issues and increase public awareness and understanding,
- Muster strengths within communities to promote and support quality service resources to their members within the cultural context of faith communities,
- Promote advocacy and empowerment.
The program focuses on public education, assessment, treatment, prevention, and resilience-building both individually and communally.
Muslim Life Planning Institute contributed presentations at both the TT and MMH conferences each on subsequent days. The first presentation was entitled “Modern Approaches Toward Healing & Transforming Identity For Global Indigenous Populations Experiencing Communal Trauma. This work sought to provide a deeper understanding of the intergenerational and multigenerational impacts of trauma on the Black population in America whose roots in the US stem from harsh enslavement and captivity. The research made connections to modern day psycho-social challenges evident in the dysfunction of individuals and families in our 21st-century contemporary context.
Family Dynamics: Choices and the Grieving Process was the course material presented at the MMH conference the next day to a standing room only audience. Family Dynamics: Choices and the Grieving Process explores how family dynamics may differ between the first generation, second generation, blended (multi-faith, multiracial, and multiethnic) families; and how family dynamics differs between immigrant families from predominantly Muslim countries and families that have American born Muslims that convert to Islam. This course also looks at how these family dynamics, culture, ethnicity and religion impact end of life choices and the grieving process.
The premise for the course content is that if the healthcare provider and caregiver better understand Islamic beliefs, recognize the diversity of Islamic communities, and consider religious amalgamation in Muslim families in America. Healthcare professionals and caregivers experiencing this course will more effectively serve the needs of Muslim patients and families grappling with life and death choices and grief.
Co-sponsored by: International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations-Jordan (IFMSA-J)
The conference was endorsed by: An international list of over 100 cooperating organizations and universities. Post-Conference Programs Included Psychosocial Training For Clergy and Religious Teachers and a 1-day training by invitation, and intended for clergy, clergy students, and religious teachers. The program is conducted by Dr. Farha Abbasi, MD, of the Michigan State University Department of Psychiatry, who first developed and has conducted this highly successful, landmark training for over 10 years.
Participating fellows from the Muslim Life Planning Institute [MLPI] included Imam Earl El-Amin,MSW Hameed El-Amin,PhD., John Yasin,PhD., Linda Howard, JD., Wakeela Mutazzamil, PhD., Samuel Shareef and Karim Ali, Co-Founders MLPI.
In 2018, MLPI’s work has been featured at the American Muslim Chaplains Annual Conference at Yale University School of Divinity and the Muslim Mental Health Conference hosted by Michigan State University Department of Psychiatry at US Institutes of Peace, WDC [March]; MLPI presented course materials – Family Dynamics: Choices and the Grieving Process at the Bayan Claremont Islamic Seminary – Los Angeles, CA [July]. MLPI co-presented with Professor of Surgery, Dr. Clive Callender, Founder of National MOTTEP at the ACCESS Arab Health Summit, Omni Shoreham, WDC; theme” A Global Call to Action on Health Equity and Social Justice” [September]. Most recently MLPI presented at joint conferences in Amman, Jordan; the 7th Annual International Conference on Transgenerational Trauma and the Muslim Mental Health Conference Jordan [October].