I spoke to the communications manager of Inspirited about collaborating with Organisation for my project.
I arranged a phone call to speak to the communications manager in more detail about this project.
I discussed how I wish to focus Muslim students within the ages of 11-16 years old in a school environment.
I believe that it is an important age to start discussing about mental health; especially from an Islamic perspective.
I discussed how I wish to organise a workshop session with some schools using the support from Inspirited Minds and start up a forum or website that could support this specific target audience.
I was advised that the workshops in schools are more beneficial in comparison to a forum or website. I was advised that it a forum or website may not be as effective for that specific audience of high school students and they don’t always have successful outcomes on making a change.
I was advised that services such as the Muslim Youth helpline is a very useful online service that supports issues such as mental health.
Inspirited Minds would be able to support me by arranging a workshop session with my chosen schools. However, the workshops would be delivered by the volunteers as they are fully trained with the resources and information which they would provide. This is also due to copyright of their resources and that credit should be given when required.
I have created a ghantt chart to create an estimated plan for this project. This will planned in more detail once I have gone through the process of getting everything approved from my tutors and the charity Inspirited Minds.
I received 244 responses from people who answered my questionnaire. From this questionnaire, I was able to gain a better understanding of mental health from the different perspectives of Muslim people and have a comparison of their experiences.
Although I specifically aimed my questionnaire at Muslim participants, I felt that it was important for me to ask this question first. I also did not want to assume that every participant may identify themselves as Muslim. Some participants may have just been born and brought up into a Muslim household, but it does not automatically mean that they would feel that they identify as Muslim. Another factor to consider was that each participants would have had different experiences about their faith which may impact on their Muslim identities.
- 97.1%. the participants answered that they do identify as Muslim which made the majority answer
- 2% of the participants answered No to identifying themselves as Muslim
- 0.8% f the participants answered Not sure to identifying themselves as Muslim
- 77.9% of the participants were female which made them the majority
- 21.7% of the participants were male
- 0.4% of the participants preferred not to say
The most common age group of the of this questionnaire was 68% of the participants being 18 to 24. The least common age group was 0.8% of the participants being aged 45 to 54.
- 1.2% of the participants were ages 55 to 64
- 1.6% of the participants were ages 11 to 14
- 2.9% of the participants were ages 35 to 44
- 10.2% of the participants were ages 15 to 17
- 15.2% of the participants were ages 24 to 34
For this question, I wanted to gain a insight of the participants ethnicity backgrounds. I left the question as an open question which allowed the participants to write what their ethnic backgrounds were; instead of me giving the option to tick a list of options.
- The most common ethnic background was Bangladeshi/Bengali
- Other common ethnic backgrounds included Pakistani and Indian
- Some participants wrote fairly general answers to this questions such as ‘Asian’, ‘African’ and ‘Arab’. However, some of participants wrote the specific countries of the ethnic backgrounds such as Egyptian, Syrian, Lebanese, Somali, Malaysian.
- Some participants wrote that their ethnic backgrounds were mixed race
- There were also few participants who wrote ‘British’ and ‘white’.
For this question, I was able to gain a valuable insight about some of the personal issues of the participants.
- The most common mental health issue was anxiety with 68.8% of the participants answering this.
- The second most common mental health issue was Depression with 48.4% of the participants answering this.
- From this, I learned that I should have considered the factors of participants not experiencing any mental health issues as I did not write ‘None’ as an option. In the ‘Other’ option, 13.7% of the participants wrote that they didn’t have any mental health experiences. This helped me understand that that it was important that I did not make any assumptions on certain topics when doing my research.
- Suicidal feelings was also a common issue which was selected by 32% of the participants.
- Panic attacks was also selected by 30.7% of the participants.
- This question also showed that mental health issues such as bipolar disorder, eating disorder, PTSD, and self-harming were also significant in numbers.
From this question I understood the different factors which have an impact towards the participants mental health issues.
- 69.7% of the participants said that loneliness and isolation was one of the factors of their mental health issues. This was the most common factor
- 65.6% of the participants selected pressure from Studying/Working which was the second most common factor.
- 54.9% of the participants selected sleeping problems
I was able to gain a valuable insight for this question it helped me understand the different ways people cope with their stress.
- 63.9% of the participants selected that the most common way of coping with stress/ mental health issues was praying/spiritual acts
- 41.8% selected speaking to someone
- 41% selected listening to music
- Many of the participants wrote that they don’t have any ways of coping with their stress/ mental health issues
- From this question, I understood that many of the participants don’t go anywhere for support when dealing with their mental health issues/ stress. Many of the participants deal with the issues alone
- 62.3% of the participants selected that they go to their friends for support which was the most common answer
- 34.4% of the participants selected that they go to their family for support
- The remaining participants selected that they go to other options such as work colleagues, counsellors, psychiatrists, gp’s, the internet and Imaam/Scholars. These were the least common answers that were selected by the participants
During the EPP Project review, I discussed my progress so far and how I was thinking of focusing on making a documentary about mental health within Muslim communities. Some of the feedback I received from Chris and Julie included:
- Would a documentary make a significant impact on the topic of mental health within Muslim communities? One of the downfalls to making a documentary is that it may only have a limited impact and that the audiences may see it once and then forget about the topic. A documentary may not be able to reach all the targeted audiences due to the topic of mental health being a sensitive issue.
- The struggle of me working individually also can be a concern as I am not relying on a filming crew who can support me with sound, filming, and editing. Although this is possible for me to do individually, the workload would be much more pressure in comparison to a group project.
- Who is my target audience? Am i focusing on a specific age group, location area, ethnicity background.
- Would creating a website or an online forum be more effective for individuals to discuss their issues?
- Is there a possibility of making the topic of mental health within Muslim communities a social campaign?
- Could I possibly discuss this issue with schools/Mosques?
- What would I be doing differently in comparison to other organisations?
- Does Inspirited Minds show support for younger audiences? Would younger audiences feel comfortable with going to them for support?
During my tutorial, I discussed changing my closed questions for the interview and began to structure them into more open questions. I also discussed my progress with filming and the certain areas of development in which I could improve.
Nicholas suggested to think about using the Virtual room as a possibility for filming my interviews as it would allow me to change the backdrop in post-production.
Nicholas also suggested me to watch different styles of interviews to help me gain a better idea of how I want the layout of mine to be like.
- How would you describe the attitude to mental health within Muslim communities?
- How has the attitude towards mental health changed over the years?
- How do social attitudes influence the stigma of mental health?
- What was your experience of accessing services that supported you throughout your journey/experience?
- How can we improve mental health services for Muslim communities in the future?