King’s College London’s Islamic Society (KCL ISOC) recently launched their Welfare Programme which has been designed to take care of the needs of its Muslim students. On the 27th of January 2015, ISOC Welfare hosted its first major public talk, ‘Islām & Depression: its causes and cures’, with Shaykh Fraz Farhat (MRDF) and Professor Stuart Carney (Dean of KCL Medical School) discussing both the clinical and Islamic perspectives of recognising and treating depression.
The attendees were taught how to recognise the symptoms of depression, what types of treatment they should expect, and how to support someone with such symptoms. They were also told how it is inevitable that we will be tested in one way or another, be it in awful living conditions, loss of a loved one, loss of income, and many other things which can trial our faith.
‘Depression is a common and treatable illness affecting one in five of us at some stage in our lives. The Islām & Depression: Its causes and cures event provided an important opportunity to challenge stigma and raise awareness about one of the leading global causes of disability. The ISOC is leading the way in providing a safe space to discuss key issues such as depression and explore how members can support each other and access help if required.’
– Professor Carney, Dean of Medicine at KCL.
‘It was profoundly evident from the number of attendees, at the Depression in Islam talk, that this is a key area of interest to Muslim students. Depression is on the rise and with increasing numbers it needs to be tackled from a Biopsychosocialspiritual perspective. I would like to thank MRDF and Shaykh Fraz for coming and delivering a talk on the Islamic perspective of depression. I hope more scholars and students of knowledge will entertain this topic as it is one which causes huge disability to individuals with secondary familial consequences.’
– Noor Bashar, Head of ISOC Welfare
Alhamdulillāh, this event was a huge success with an audience of over 300 students and academics from various universities, backgrounds, and beliefs. It is clear that a large proportion of the Muslim population felt it was necessary to discuss a taboo topic and to show that there should not be a dichotomy between Islam and mental health.
We ask Allāh to improve, preserve, and shower His barakah on KCL ISOC and their Welfare Programme. Āmeen.
Written by Sultan Hatab
KCL ISOC Welfare Officer