Monday 10 May 2021, marks the launch of Mental Health Awareness Week, the UK’s national week to raise awareness of mental health.
COVID-19 has impacted the whole world; for almost everyone, life has had to change profoundly with an increase in a range of mental health conditions for adults, from emotional exhaustion, sleep problems and anxiety to depression. In response, the Good Thinking team has been developing the service making changes to offer better and more relatable support to Muslim communities in London. Millions of us have experienced a mental health problem or seen a loved one struggle and we understand that people might be feeling anxious, stressed or struggling with other mental health concerns.
As part of the awareness week, Good Thinking has been working in partnership with Muslim communities in The London Borough of Newham, Newham Council’s Public Health Team, and the Mental Health Lead for North East London CCG to create the Five Ways to Wellbeing and Islam, as recommended by the NHS. This expanded resource is to meet the growing demand for mental health support across London and its diverse communities and to provide curated resources that feel more culturally appropriate for faith communities.
The five ways to good mental wellbeing and Islam, are based on NHS advice and are also encouraged in Islamic teachings, they are:
- Connect with Allah and with people
- Be physically active
- Learn something new each day
- Give to others
- Pay attention to the present moment
Endorsed by the Muslim Council for Britain, British Islamic Medical Association and The British Board of Scholars and Imams, the Five Ways to Wellbeing and Islam will be available in seven languages English, Bengali, Gujarati, Urdu, Somali, Hindi and Arabic as part of the wider toolkit. The toolkit provides a series of videos and accompanying animations on the five ways to wellbeing that can be shared on WhatsApp and across various social media platforms.
It has never been more important to look after your mental wellbeing and help your loved ones.
Dr Wajid Akhter, Vice President, British Islamic Medical Association, said:
“In order for communities to improve their mental health, they need to be able to view it in terms that they recognise and empathise with. The “5 ways to good mental wellbeing and Islam” developed by Good Thinking is a perfect example of faith-based and mental health expertise combining to produce guidance that is not only accessible but hopefully inspirational.”
Sheikh Hasan, Founding Trustee, The British Board of Scholars & Imams (BBSI), said:
“With our communities feeling worried, anxious and isolated during these challenging times, Good Thinking highlights that there are lots of things we can do to look after our mental wellbeing and help others. We are pleased to endorse this campaign and commit to working alongside Good Thinking and other key partners to play our role in supporting our community.”
Zara Mohammed, Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Britain, said:
“There has never been a more crucial time to support mental well-being initiatives due to COVID-19. The Good Thinking campaign will provide a range of resources to help Londoners improve their mental health in so many ways. It is my pleasure to support this initiative along with key partners in this vital work they are doing for our communities which is needed more than ever.”
Dr Imrana Siddiqui, GP & Clinical Lead for Mental Health North East London CCG, said:
“Islam promotes a holistic way of life and encourages good mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing. Good Thinking, by meaningfully co-producing with Muslim communities and experts, has produced a compelling resource incorporating values of Islam harmoniously into NHS guidance. We hope Muslim communities will find these culturally tailored resources relatable and practical in promoting wellbeing and self-care during these challenging times and beyond.”
Cllr Zulfiqar Ali, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care, Newham Council, said:
“Newham Council is delighted to be collaborating with Good Thinking to raise awareness of mental health wellbeing within the Muslim community, especially in this extraordinary climate. It is vital that communities recognise that poor mental health is an illness and treat it with the same seriousness as poor physical health. It is comforting to know that there are many resources available to help treat mental illness, and I urge residents not to suffer in silence. The first step is acknowledging it and then talking to your GP who can refer or signpost you to the right services.”
Muhammad Uddin, Newham Muslim Forum, said:
“We’re living through incredibly challenging times and our communities are facing intense pressures. People are worried, anxious and feeling alone. The Good Thinking app gives us some very important tools that we can use to help manage our mental well-being, while engaging with our faith-based traditions. We can only help others if we first help ourselves. Newham Muslim Forum are pleased to endorse this campaign and commit to working alongside Good Thinking and other key partners to play our role in supporting our community.”
Some of the ways you can support this campaign during Mental Health Awareness Week and beyond:
- Consider the five steps to improve mental health and wellbeing, as recommended by the NHS and also encouraged in Islamic teachings.
- Join the conversation on social media and tag us in @GoodThinkingUK
- Use the toolkit and its resources with your community.
For more information, visit www.good-thinking.uk/faith-and-belief-communities
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About Good Thinking
Good Thinking is an online mental wellbeing platform that helps Londoners look after their mental health and wellbeing in a way that works for them. Since its launch in 2017, more than half a million people have used our digital service to tackle anxiety, stress, low mood, sleep problems and other concerns. Good Thinking is free for those that live, study or work in London thanks to the support of the Mayor of London, London Councils, Directors of Public Health and Public Health England. It is delivered by Healthy London Partnership.
Available 24/7 on any device and completely anonymous, Good Thinking provides a range of resources to help Londoners improve their mental wellbeing, including free NHS-approved apps, articles, blogs, podcasts, self-assessments, videos and printable workbooks. All the apps we recommend are independently assessed and our clinically validated self-assessment tool is powered by DoctorLink.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have expanded our resources to meet the growing demand for mental health support across London. Londoners have told Good Thinking that there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution when it comes to their health – they want information and support that reflects how they live and what their values are.
So, Good Thinking has been working with a variety of organisations, faith communities, academies, charities, and many others to create tailored, impactful content. Everyone’s mental health is different – we are here to help you find your own path to improve your wellbeing. Visits to our website and downloads of our resources have increased significantly during the pandemic.
For more information, visit www.good-thinking.uk