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Stanford Muslim Mental Health Initiative (MMHI)

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Stanford MMHI is a community-driven research and advocacy project seeking to understand and address the unique mental health needs of Muslim students at Stanford University. Launched in 2020 as a project of the Stanford Muslim Mental Health & Islamic Psychology Lab and in partnership with the Markaz Resource Center, the research study and its findings are being utilized to devise evidence-based programming and identify resources at Stanford to ensure the health and wellness of the Muslim community.

History & Origins

Stanford Muslim Mental Health & Islamic Psychology Lab (MMHIP) serves as an academic home for the study of mental health in the context of the Islamic faith and Muslim populations. Stanford MMHI, led by lab members Aneeqa Abid (‘22) and Mahnoor Hyat (‘22), grew out of this research lab. It is one of many MMHIs across the country with successful sister initiatives at UC Berkeley and Northwestern.

Research Findings

The MMHI focus group study and analysis, Understanding the Mental Health Needs of Muslim College Students in the U.S., contained the following key findings:

  • Mental health stigma, spirituality & religiosity, and navigating Muslim identity on campus, all play a role in students’ mental health wellness. 
  • There is a heterogeneity in preferences: while some students choose to steer clear of Muslim counselors, a majority of students preferred a Muslim therapist.
  • Students provided specific wellness programming they wished to see, including community support groups.


Program Implementation

In the 2021-2022 school year,  MMHI student leaders will address the research findings through advocacy and organized programming, including: 

  1. Care Program: Through a new partnership with Maristan, MMHI will be organizing virtual Mental Health Consultations with local Muslim therapists and support groups for our community as needed this spring. Topics for support groups will be based on research findings and community input. The MMHI Care Program is supported by funds from the Office of the Vice Provost of Student Affairs (VPSA).

  2. Demystifying Therapy Campaign: By sharing stories of Stanford Muslims' experiences with therapy, this social media campaign aims to dismantle the stigma surrounding mental health in our community. Follow along on Digital Markaz to read the student stories we've collected.

  3. Navigating Mental Health on Campus: This vlog series aims to help Muslim students navigate the mental health system on campus. In each video, Aneeqa and Mahnoor walk us through the process of accessing care from different campus sources including CAPS, Well-being at Stanford and the Bridge. Watch our first vlogs here.


MMHI Leadership Team