Despite mental disorders being the leading cause of disability worldwide, they are one of the most unspoken illnesses in modern-day societies. In communities where religion is synonymous with psychiatric treatment, many individuals feel unable to get the proper support they need to better their own health and well-being. Motivated to change this mentality of dismissal and stigma, Nisa Helpline was created to inspire hope in Muslim women by giving them a platform to voice their inner struggles without fear of judgement or negativity.
Officially launched on October 22, 2012; in Canada, Nisa Helpline was created through the efforts of a small group of hardworking and dedicated Muslim sisters. Since then, the number of volunteers working for the organization has grown exponentially in size. As part of the team’s original mandate, all-volunteer counsellors have been trained using content produced by certified social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists, and imams to handle topics that include active listening, domestic violence, and women’s fiqh. Nisa Helpline’s unique approach to blending Islamic principles with mental health has made it the first of its kind in catering to the female Muslim community at large.
With an ever-growing Muslim population in North America, the need to provide culturally-sensitive and faith-based services have become increasingly imminent. Often the first line of defence against deteriorating mental health, Nisa Helpline seeks to foster empowerment and resilience in each and everyone one of its callers. It is only by providing these types of resources that Muslim women as a whole can start to reclaim the spaces that have ignored them for too long.