When someone is experiencing poor mental health, it is important to seek appropriate support. Part of this support is medical support, to confirm if there is a mental disorder developing and to address it accordingly. As long as you are above the age of 12, you can access medical attention without parental permission. Now, having said this, it is important to work with your parents and reach out to them for support, as they are you first caregivers. If you are concerned about how your parents might react, then seek out an intermediate person to help frame the conversation. This could be an older sibling or an uncle or aunt that you and your parents trust.

Sometimes parents appear to be unwelcoming towards these types of conversations because they do not know how to solve the problem or where to get help from – in this case, you can reach out to your guidance counsellor at school, or a teacher, to find out about community supports that are available.

If your parents are religious, then they will know that they are obligated to help their children in all circumstances. This is laid out clearly by the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) who declared fathers and mothers as “Amirs” or “Guardians” over their families, giving children the right to have all their needs met by their parents. Again, if you feel you need an ally in this conversation, seek out the Imam of the mosque you frequent, or an Islamic Studies or Qur’an teacher if you have one.

If you feel you are not in a position to speak to anyone about the issue(s) you are experiencing, then please consider contacting a helpline such as the Khalil Centre, Naseeha Mental Health or the Kids’ Help Phone.  These resources are free and you are able to connect with a social worker on the phone or online.