Counseling services don’t understand young British Muslims, report says

9 October 2010
The Muslim Youth Helpline (MYH) has published a new report, Young British Muslims and Relationships. The report, which is the first in a series of seven by MYH, is the first research of its kind to be produced in Britain. The report, funded by London Councils as part of a project aiming to improve services for young Muslims in London, found that there is still a lack of understanding amongst support services in assisting young British Muslims facing difficult issues. Often faith and cultural sensitivities are overlooked in tackling issues such as forced marriage, sexual abuse, family pressures, sexuality and domestic violence.
Akeela Ahmed, Chief Executive of MYH said, “Since our inception nearly 10 years ago, young British Muslims are still reluctant to get the help they need from mainstream services for fear of being misunderstood. In the worst cases this can result in further isolation and marginalisation. Statutory agencies need to further develop the capacity to provide faith and culturally sensitive support to Muslim youth in the UK. Meaningful community engagement and support can be empowering and transformative, helping young British Muslims to overcome barriers to social inclusion and have better access to the services and ultimately opportunities that promote good psychological and emotional wellbeing.”

[read report]