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Mental Health Workshops Aim to Help Canadian Muslims

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International Development & Relief Foundation

Photo of Mahmood Qasim, CEO of IDRF

Mahmood Qasim, CEO of IDRF

IDRF partners with the Canadian Muslim COVID-19 Task Force to deliver a series of three virtual workshops over the summer

It’s important for Canadians, especially those from diverse cultures, to hear about the pandemic in a culturally sensitive way from trusted voices in their community.”
— Mahmood Qasim, CEO of IDRF

TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA, June 25, 2021 / -- IDRF (International Development & Relief Foundation) is partnering with the Canadian Muslim COVID-19 Task Force (CMCTF) to bring a free online series of mental health workshops to Canadian Muslims.

“It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on our collective wellbeing,” said Rufaida Mohammed, Co-Chair, CMCTF. “As we move into what we hope will be the final days of the pandemic, the return to normal may also be causing feelings of anxiety. Our workshops are designed to help Canadians Muslims address that anxiety, and thrive during the recovery stages of the pandemic.”

For more than a year, Canadians have experienced extraordinary levels of pandemic-related disruption and witnessed on-going horrific tragedies in the context of long-standing race-based discrimination.

“While efforts to address race-based discrimination and vaccines both provide a promising light, we each require tools to cope adaptively,” added Ms. Mohammed. “This webinar series shares strategies to restore, recuperate and rejuvenate our physical, psychological and spiritual wellbeing as we continuously make efforts to shape our new normal."

The three workshops, which are open to people of all religions and backgrounds, will focus on building resilience and handling anxiety and depression during the recovery stage of the pandemic, from both a medical and spiritual perspective. They will feature leaders from spiritual, community and medical backgrounds.
The first virtual workshop is called “Anxiety and Depression,” and people can register for it at the CMCTF website. It will feature three distinguished speakers who are leaders in their respective fields:
• Dr. Arfeen Malick is a psychiatrist with a specialization working with adults, children, adolescents and parents at the University of Toronto.
• Dr. Tayyab Rashid is a licensed clinical psychologist at the Health & Wellness Centre, University of Toronto Scarborough.
• Imam Suhaib William Webb has a degree in Education from the University of Central Oklahoma and in Islamic law from al-Azhar University in Cairo, and is currently the resident scholar at the Islamic Center at New York University.
“It’s important for Canadians, especially those from diverse cultures, to hear about the pandemic in a culturally sensitive way from trusted voices in their community,” said Mahmood Qasim, CEO of IDRF. “People are better able to understand and embrace situations when they can relate to the messenger.”
The second virtual mental health workshop in the complimentary series is called “Building Resilience” and will take place on Sunday, July 25. The third virtual workshop is called “Thriving instead of Surviving” and will take place on Sunday, August 22. All workshops will start at 6:30 pm and finish at 8:00 pm.
CMCTF is responsible for putting together the workshop programs and, in cooperation with IDRF, securing speakers. IDRF will lead the promotion and marketing efforts, with a goal of reaching as many people as possible through its national network.

About CMCTF:
CMCTF is a non-partisan and non-denominational group of volunteers that seeks to foster collaboration and communication among Canadian-Muslim community leaders, Imams, experts and organizations about the COVID-19 pandemic. We also collaborate with other COVID-19 task forces, public health officials, health care organizations and all three levels of government to help Canadians cope with and get past the pandemic. Our goal is to reach all Canadian Muslims with our message regardless of geography, language, ethnicity, ability or socio-economic status.

About IDRF:
IDRF is a Canadian registered charitable organization dedicated to empowering disadvantaged people in Canada and around the world. Founded in 1984, IDRF has an enviable reputation as one of Canada’s best-run charities and has been recognized by third-party organizations such as the Financial Post and MoneySense for its effectiveness, efficiency, and results. Find out more about IDRF's work in its Annual Report, and follow them on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Media contact:
Zeina Osman, Director of Major Gifts and External Relations, IDRF
Tel: 416-497-0818 (# 504) or Cell: 613-304-2568

Zeina Osman
+1 416-497-0818 #504
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