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16 June 2020

Press Release: Breaking the Silence on Child Mental Health

Sahirah Javaid
Press Release: Breaking the Silence on Child Mental Health

You can find our report ‘Breaking the Silence: A discussion on child mental health in the developing world’ at the bottom of this page.

UK charity Muslim Hands will be hosting its first-ever global advocacy panel discussion centred around the charity’s recently published interim report ‘Breaking the Silence: A discussion on child mental health in the developing world’. The current research was designed to explore how people in Bangladesh perceive mental health and learning difficulties in their schools, and how young people with such needs are best supported.

Although developing countries have made progress in getting children into the classroom and more children worldwide are now in education, the findings showed that mental health interventions in schools are limited to young people in rural areas. There is still a lack of understanding from parents and teachers in this area, which prevents young people accessing support, reinforcing stigmatisation in their communities. It was suggested that specialist teacher training both in mental health and learning difficulties would benefit students, where the next phase of the project would introduce a mental health advocacy programme in schools to support mental health awareness within communities. This research will also be piloted in other countries including Pakistan and Malawi.

The global advocacy panel discussion will be a free online event taking place on Tuesday 30th June at 18.00 BST with renowned guest speakers including Dr Linda O’Raw, Muslim Hands, Dr Fiona Samuels, Overseas Development Institute and Dr Kelly Muzariri, The Friendship Bench. Discussions from the event will raise awareness and a platform of learning in the hope of creating much-needed conversations around the subject.

To find out more about Muslim Hands and the work we do visit muslimhands.org.uk or call 0115 9117222.

Zara Tariq, Muslim Hands Advocacy Coordinator, said:

‘As a child-focused charity, our aim is to make sure that we are at the forefront in promoting the social inclusion of all children worldwide. Advocating is a much-needed approach that allows us to fight for the rights of children through educating communities and encouraging conversations around mental wellbeing. Our research highlighted that child mental health in low to middle-income countries is grossly under-researched despite a clear need. We hope that the global advocacy panel discussion will be the first of many, which looks to discuss and raise awareness for such an important issue. By promoting this campaign and using our position to help influence change and attitudes towards mental health, we hope to make a difference to the lives of many children suffering in silence'.

 

Breaking The Silence: Interim Report


Muslim Hands UK

Established in 1993, Muslim Hands is an aid agency and NGO helping those affected by poverty, conflict and natural disaster in over 20 countries worldwide.