A recent ILIA 2020 survey conducted on Muslim males ages 13-17 in Maryland highlighted that 50% of the cohort knows at least one person who had suicidal thoughts or actually committed suicide. An alarming rate! We have lost many youth to suicide in our Muslim communities, and the rates seem to only increase.
Did you know that 50% of lifetime mental health conditions develop by the age of 14? As a matter of fact according to National Alliance on Medical Illness (NAMI) mental health conditions are common among teens and young adults.
Mental health conditions develop for complicated reasons that researchers and scholars are just scratching the surface to understand.
According the the Center for Disease Control (CDC) suicide rates have increased by an average of 47% across America for ages 10-24 over the past couple of years, with a current suicide rate of 10 young adults from every 100,000.
Support the future of our ummah
Help equip the youth with the survival tools
Help save lives
Help guide youth into Islam
Strengthen youth-bonds to their communities
Protect families and strengthen the fabric of the ummah
A Real Story from Mid Atlantic
In 2019, YCL was a key factor in preventing a four person murder - suicide case when a 16-year old suffering a mental breakdown threatened to kill mother and two siblings and then burn the home. YCL counselor was able to be at the family’s apartment within 6 minutes of his mother’s text message asking for help.
Upon arrival at the family’s home, the counselor quickly assessed safety, emotions and root-cause factors, and was able to diffuse the situation, physically separate the 16-year old from his siblings and mother, stabilize the emotions of the teenager, and enlist the local authorities to transport the teen to local care facility.
Upon admission the YCL counselor worked with the medical team to make arrangements for further care. 10 days later the teen recovered and was able to engage with the community.
Throughout the 10-days period, YCL was engaged with the teen daily on the phone and visited at least once every 2 days.
Today, the teen now a young man is working full-time as a manager at one of the largest employers where he lives, supervising two dozen employees, and a high performing full-time second year student at the local college. During the past three years, the young man has stayed connected to the youth group of our organization, providing him with opportunities for self-discovery and growth through internships, retreats, workshops, community service and meaningful projects.
Islam has brought to humanity tons of solutions when it comes to mental health well-being. From coaching to cognitive behavior training, our deen has provided humanity a toolbox of solutions.
Our challenge as Muslims is to uncover the toolbox and utilize its tools, systems and processes in a pragmatically to meet our needs. For centuries Muslims has been far away from studying mental health from an Islamic perspective and have relied on other ideologies and frameworks that are lesser in accuracy and completeness from the divinity of Islam.
Islamic Leadership Institute of America (ILIA) has been at the forefront in providing Muslim youth non-traditional mental health solutions. Here are some examples:
Launched in 2010, EmpowerOne has touched the lives of close to 500+ Muslim young adults and teens, providing goal-oriented performance coaching utilizing state-of-the-art approaches such as cognitive behavior therapy, systems thinking, motivational therapy, experiential learning, leadership development and problem solving.
The program, which is first-of-its-kind, when launched brings some of the best complex systems analysis and engineering concepts into a young adult problem solving situation, empowering the individual, building self-esteem and defining purpose.
Youth Crisis Line
Launched in 2015, out of organic need to address various crises facing our Muslim youth from domestic abuse to homelessness, peer pressure and more serious issues as suicide and atheism. Building on ILIA's successes in EmpowerOne and other leadership development programs, Youth Crisis Line has saved dozens of suicidal lives, and helped many more stay on the track of Islam after they had become agnostic or atheist.
Growing up in a Muslim household, Ali was taught from an early age the value of Islam, worshipping and Allah's magnificence, Ali even attended an Islamic School from kindergarten to thirds grade. After 14 years of neglect by his father, Ali started rebelling on his mother's advice. Skipping school, hanging out with friends, drinking, late parties were just a few of the troubling signs. By 17, Ali hated life, hated his mother, and left Islam. Ali learned about YCL through his third grade friend, and the next six months would transform Ali's life. It was on a late Ramadan night, when he returned from the masjid with his YCL counselor that he had tears in his eyes, and renewed his Islamic identity, starting praying and a new life.
Spending most of her time in her room closet, cutting her arms and crying was Zahra's daily routine. A young women in a northern state who was one year away from turning 18, spending the most miserable time of her life alone, depressed, scared and hopeless.
It is when she was introduced to Youth Crisis Line, that she had a sounding board to share openly her fears, thoughts and confusion. Whenever she felt like talking to someone, YCL was there. In a couple of weeks Zahra was stabilized, saw a different perspective on life, gained clarity of mind, developed a purpose, started an internship, and transformed from a liability to a productive contributor to her community designing eye-catching flyers and social media posts.
How Will Your Support Help?
Our Campaign Goal
Join a group of 50 people who care to give $14 a month to promote Muslim Mental Health and Crisis Stabilization
$700 / month
Positive Youth Development
Substance Abuse Drivers
Programming & Development
Stress Management Workshops
Coaching and Empowerment
Problem Solving Workshops
Integrated Spiritual Uplifting Training
Why are Recurring Donations More Impactful?
More Reasons to Donate
Handling 2000+ calls per year from youth and youth caretakers (teachers, parents, grandparents).
Saving the lives of 25+ suicidal Muslim youth getting them the help they need.
Preventing a 4-person murder-suicide case in Maryland in 2018
Establishing the first Islamic Gender Identity Resource Center in the world - http://gender.islamicleadership.org/
Stabilizing Muslim youth who have been molested by their parents.
Dawa and mentoring for new revert young adult Muslims.
Providing temporary housing for homeless youth.
Job and career counseling for unemployed young adults.
Addressing complaints of incarcerated Muslims.
Making funeral arrangements for young adults who have no Muslim family members.
Delivering food drives for hundreds of families.
Sponsors at ICNA 47 National Convention
Partners and Funders
The fine organizations below recognize Youth Crisis Line as an essential service and have provided support, technical advice and/or guidance in the past.
Baltimore Community Foundation
Community Foundation of Howard County
The Horizon Foundation
Howard County Coalition on Mental Health
International Federation for Therapeutic and Counselling Choice
Baltimore City Mayor's Office on Homelessness