“Who here has experienced mental health or know someone who has?” asked Khris, the facilitator of the Mental Health First Aid workshop hosted by ISNA Canada as part of its new initiative, Compass. Almost everyone in the room put their hands up, and as the day progressed stories of encounters with mothers, fathers, friends, cousins and siblings brought to light just how prevalent mental health is within our community and just how little it is discussed.
The Mental Health First Aid two-day workshop was introduced by the Peel Service Collaborative and designed to raise awareness and understanding of mental health within faith-based communities. When ISNA Compass heard of it, we knew we needed to jump on board!
“It’s an opportunity to learn how to interact with people from all walks of life, not just when you’re working,” one of the attendees, an ISNA volunteer, explained. A total of 23 men, women, seniors, youth and young adults – ranging from students, to educators, to service providers and volunteers – attended the first day of the two-day workshop.
ISNA Compass was born in the fall of 2013 in response to a need within our community that saw our shuyookh and Imams overwhelmed with service requests from grieving families, to addicted youth, to troubled couples and all the problems in between. ISNA – Canada realized something needed to be done to assist those seeking help yet facing barriers such as fear, lack of knowledge or awareness. Compass is the link between you – our community members – and community and mainstream services. This means providing you with information, assisting you in taking the first step to get in contact and following-up to ensure you received the help you needed.
Compass aims to continue providing workshops such as the Mental Health First Aid as well as seminars, trainings and much more, inshAllah!
If you want to find out more about ISNA Compass and our upcoming workshop, seminars and volunteer opportunities, email firstname.lastname@example.org.