(CLEVELAND, OH, 9/9/06) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations recently hosted a focus group in partnership with the Ohio Department of Mental Health and the Multiethnic Advocates for Cultural Competence (MACC) on the mental health needs of the Muslim community in Ohio.

The statewide project is designed to seek input from diverse communities to help ensure that all of Ohio’s residents have equal and appropriate access to mental health services. The focus group, organized by Rama Consultants, examined Muslim perspectives on mental illness, stigma issues and how best to serve the Muslim community’s mental health needs. A number of area Muslim mental health experts, imams, community members and leaders joined to share their insights.

Participants in the focus group pointed to the need for more domestic violence services in the community, professional training for more members of the Muslim community, as well as help in funding brochures on mental health services in languages such as Arabic, Somali and Urdu. The group also requested that mental health care providers receive diversity training on Muslims and Islamic religious practices.

CONTACT: Julia A. Shearson, Director, CAIR-OHIO, Cleveland Office, 216-830-2247, E-Mail: cleveland@cair-ohio.com; Dr. Asma Mobin-Uddin, President, CAIR-OHIO, 614-451-3232, E-mail: asma@cair-ohio.com


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