The community-based research project, Muslim Women’s Mental Health, asked Muslim women in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) to describe their first-hand experiences of mental health and mental health services.
This kind of qualitative research is based on the wisdom that if you want to know how – and if – services and supports are working, you ask the service users and the service providers.
[This study was prepared by Ruby Latif, MA; Doctor of Social Science Candidate (ABD), Royal Roads University; Research Associate, Diversity Institute, Ryerson University; Sara Rodrigues, PhD, Centre of Excellence on PTSD; and Andrew Galley, PhD, Canadian Mental Health Association, National.]
In Canada, Muslims are the targets of significant hate crime, aggression and discrimination. Muslim women in particular face discrimination and ill-treatment, even more so than Muslim men. This may be because the practice of wearing the hijab is a visible expression of Muslim women’s religion.
It is not surprising that experiencing aggression and discrimination can go hand and hand with mental health difficulties. This study suggests that this is true for Muslim women in the GTHA.