In response to the stressful environments Muslim immigrants face abroad, TherapyLine.org was launched in Canada this year to become the world’s first anonymous online direct messaging psychological therapy service platform geared towards Muslims, Globe Newswire reported on July 2.
“After doing some research back in December 2018, I found that depression was at an unprecedented rise among the Muslim community and felt that something had to be done on a wide scale,” said the Founder and CEO Faisal Khan.
TherapyLine.org was launched in April 2019 after Khan, who lives in Michigan, the US, was often coming across Muslims who talked about feeling depressed because of current events affecting Muslims worldwide.
Around that time, he was contacted by Entrepreneur Asim Ibrahim who had been looking to work on a project with Khan for quite a while. “I told Ibrahim about my idea and how we would focus on bringing direct message Therapy to the Muslim community and he was instantly on board,” Khan informed.
Events worldwide such as the Massacre of Christchurch in New Zealand have caused an increased level of depression and anxiety among Muslims worldwide.
“As a result, many Muslims have since been looking for a place to turn to help deal with questions, concerns, and fears,” Khan believes.
“So far many helplines for Muslims exist but lack professional level interaction and in certain more serious cases, can only refer callers to in-person Therapists,” he continued.
Khan was aware of a remarkable point that “going to an in-person Therapist, which these distress lines offer for more serious cases, can be too expensive and the anonymity some callers are looking for tends to disappear.”
Since the launch of TherapyLine.org, many of these Muslim helplines in Canada and the USA have followed TherapyLine’s example and are now looking to launch their own versions of online messaging Therapy.
“I am glad to see other Muslim organizations following our lead and example and moving more towards technology when trying to reach those in need of mental help in the Muslim World,” Khan expressed.
Unfortunately, the issue of mental health is a taboo among some Muslim sects. Many of the patients who seek help are embarrassed or unable to talk to those around them.
Hence, having an anonymous feature opens up the door for many more Muslims using the platform as the messaging feature makes it much more convenient to use.
Also, having access to a professional therapist that’s also Muslim is a rare opportunity for most, especially those who live outside the Islamic World.
Khan believes that most of all the cost makes it more likely that more Muslims will be able to afford professional mental health services as most services can cost upwards of $300 CAD for just one session.
“TherapyLine.org will lead to many more Muslims getting the professional level help they need and will hopefully have a positive impact on the Islamic World,” Khan hopes.
When facing problems, either marital trouble, financial difficulties, mental health issues, or otherwise, many Muslims are reluctant to seek professional counseling.
In order to provide Muslims with more access to trusted counselors, AboutIslam is partnering with two Islamic counseling services in an attempt to expand its current counseling service.