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Stanford Muslim Mental Health Initiative

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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

  • 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:some students choose to steer clear of Muslim counselors while many other 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: 

  • Wellness Programming: Regular support groups and wellness workshops for our community are needed. Topics for support groups will be based on research findings and community input. For example, many students wanted to talk about the role spirituality plays in helping and hindering mental health. 
  • Demystify Therapy: As a part of our de-stigmatization efforts, we started a “Demystifying Therapy” campaign.  We are collecting  stories from our community members and sharing them virtually on our Instagram page and physically in the Markaz space.

MMHI Leadership Team

Muslim Mental Health Initative Coordinator
Muslim Mental Health Initative Coordinator