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Naskh script of verses form the 72nd chapter of the Qur'an entitled
Working Together: Advocates Call for Access and Equity in Mental Health Care
February 13, 2021
How are faith communities engaging in the national discussion on our growing mental health crisis? We speak with Wellbeing Trust CEO Tyler Norris, and mental health advocate Nahid Fattahi.
Tyler Norris. Courtesy Tyler Norris
The critical role of faith communities and belief in wellness and trauma recovery February 13, 2021
The leader of a philanthropy dedicated to advancing mental and spiritual health is calling on the Biden Administration to address the growing mental health crisis in America.  14 national organizations representing health care providers, professional guilds, advocates, and patients are calling on state, local and federal leadership to combat the growing gaps in mental health coverage and access impacting vulnerable residents.  

A key priority for Well Being Trust CEO Tyler Norris, MDiv, is engaging faith communities.  Norris details the core principles of the campaign along with the priorities that would guide a national response to the growing numbers of Americans struggling with grief, anxiety, depression, substance misuse, and suicide.  Norris discusses the essential role of faith and faith communities in supporting human flourishing and calls for greater engagement and collaboration.

Tyler Norris. CEO of the Well Being Trust, He earned his M.Div from Naropa University and his bachelor’s degree in World Political Economy from Colorado College.
Nahid Fattahi. Courtesy Nahid Fattahi.
From a Child Bride to Psychotherapist: Confronting Shame and Stigma February 13, 2021
Nahid Fattahi was born in war-torn Afghanistan to a family that wanted her to be educated and live free beyond the reach of the Taliban.  Her journey to Canada was filled with traumas including bouts of severe depression.  Those early formative experiences inform her work and advocacy today encouraging Muslim leaders to learn how to support members struggling with mental health.

The conversation continues with Nahid Fattahi risks of misdiagnosis when cultural competency is missing in mental health care. Sharing her own experiences with faith, Fattahi describes how she brings presence and mindful meditation to her personal practices and offers suggestions on ways to cope with life’s ups and downs.  Fattahi cautions against believing in a cultural marketing that messages consumers to be in constant pursuit of happiness.  She shares how corporate incentives to look for happiness can distort perceptions and lead to despair.  

Nahid Fattahi. Psychotherapist, activist, storyteller, faculty at Pacific Oaks College.

You can read Ms. Fattahi's article on destigmatizing mental health in the Muslim American community in Psychology Today.