“A place where everybody knows your name": The role of the faith-based community in developing mental health resiliencies amongst diasporic and post-diasporic Muslim youth in Australia.
The religio-cultural community of migrants from minority ethnic backgrounds often plays a strong role in their post-migration adaptation. While religion itself has been said to play an important role in construction of resilience (Abdel-Khalak, 2007; Moreira-Almeida, A., Neto, F.L., & Koenig, 2006; Bhugra, 2004; Davydov, D.M., Stewart, R., Ritchie, K., & Chaudieu, I., 2010, Dein, 2010), the social support network created through involvement in a religious community may also protect against development of mental health conditions (Pumariega, A., Rothe, & Pumariega, J., 2005; Bhugra et al, 2004; Dew et al, 2008).This is particularly relevant for immigrant communities who may encounter threats to mental health due to the migratory experience (Pumariega, A., Rothe, & Pumariega, J.,, 2005; Jibeen & Khalid, 2010). Much work has looked at the case of refugees and mental health outcomes and resiliencies (ie: Watters, 2001), yet little at the post-migratory experience on mental health for young immigrants, who often migrate for economic and educational opportunities, and the second-generation, who may encounter cultural and acculturative challenges (Pumariega, A., Rothe, & Pumariega, J., 2005; Bhugra et al, 2004). This is striking given the many changing life circumstances facing youth and the potentiality of development of mental health conditions (Bhugra, 2004; Patel, Flisher, Hetrick., & McGlory, 2007). Thus, it becomes important to examine the resiliencies of these recent-immigrant and second-generation youth and their strategies for mental well-being. This paper examines the case of the diasporic and post-diasporic Ismaili Muslim youth in Australia, the so-called recent and second-generation immigrant. It illustrates how they respond to mental health challenges encountered in the migratory experience, and examines the role of their faith-based community in the development of their mental health resiliencies. It builds upon the work of Moosa-Mitha (2009), in her study of Canadian Muslim immigrant youth, particularly engaging with her themes of “visibility” and “voice”, to showcase how Australian Muslim youth utilize concepts such as engagement with their faith and civic participation to develop positive mental health resiliencies when engaging with contemporary threats to mental health encountered through the migratory and acculturative experience.
Citation : Mitha, K. (2012) The role of the faith-based community in developing mental health resilience in diasporic and post-diasporic Ismaili Muslim youth in Australia. Conference presentation: Health and Mental Resilience, an Interdisciplinary Perspective. Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland, October 2012
Research Group : Mary Seacole Research Centre