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Naseeha Mental Health

While attending the 9th International Child Helpline Conference, mindyourmind's Nathan got a chance to meet staff from Naseeha Mental Health (formerly known as Naseeha Youth Helpline) and learn more about the services and supports they provide.

Tell us a bit about Naseeha Mental Health and the services you provide?

Naseeha Mental Health (formerly known as Naseeha Youth Helpline) provides an anonymous, non-judgmental, confidential, and toll-free peer support helpline to listen to and be there for youth experiencing personal challenges. Our trained Counsellors are available to support youth in working through those challenges. Since its inception, Naseeha has expanded its services to include education and outreach programs. Our Counsellors conduct groups and workshops in schools, community centres, and faith institutions to foster healthy connections. Naseeha is a registered charity.

How can someone get a hold of Naseeha Mental Health and is there anything specific they need to know before calling?

Naseeha’s Peer Support Helpline is confidential, anonymous, and non-judgmental. Our Counsellors are available from 3 to 9 pm, 7 days a week Eastern Standard Time. To reach us, dial the toll-free number at 1-866-627-3342 (1-866-NASEEHA). We can also be reached at info@naseeha.org.

Furthermore, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram to stay up-to-date on our news and upcoming events @1866naseeha.

What can someone expect when they call in and who are they talking to?

At Naseeha, we live by the motto, ‘Here For You’’. When a young person calls into our helpline, they can expect a compassionate, caring, and competent Counsellor interested in actively listening to their concerns and supporting them in working through their challenges. This support includes acting as a sounding board for a young person who just wants to talk, providing crisis counselling to a distressed person, or referring the young person to resources for more long-term counselling.

Why is it important to have resources that are specific to the Muslim community and faith?

It’s not uncommon for persons seeking mental health support and services to feel concerned that their faith will be discounted by mental health professionals. Persons with religious beliefs frequently express concern about non-religious mental health staff and are more likely to prefer Counsellors with similar religious beliefs. Having Counsellors who convey an understanding of and sensitivity to the young [person's] religious beliefs is important to the young person’s mental health as well as to the success of our organization.

Are there any misconceptions about the services you provide?

Naseeha receives calls from Muslim as well as non-Muslim youth. We believe this, sadly, reflects the rising rate of mental health conditions amongst youth. Additionally, most of the incoming phone calls are from North America though we do receive calls from overseas too, further highlighting the lack of mental health support for youth globally.

What is the common issue(s) that your callers have?

Here is a breakdown of what youth call us for: 

  • 31% related to mental health • 29% are about relationships, marriage, and divorce
  • 23% related to Islam and spirituality
  • 21% involve some type of parent-youth conflict or a parent calling in with a question
  • 8% are related to sexual orientation or pornography/masturbation

Are there any new programs or developments coming up in the future that you can share with us?

We recently wrapped up our Sold-out Annual Benefit Gala ‘Behind the Masquerade’ this year where the focus was to create means of making it safe to show your real identity. In addition to our helpline, a lot of our focus is on Education and Outreach. For instance, we recently started a program called ‘Naseeha Circles’. It is led by our Mental Health Professionals and is a safe space for students to engage in group discussion and give as well as receive advice.

Link: Naseeha Mental Health