BCBN in partnership with the University of East London, School of Psychology launched a
hard-hitting report, ‘Hidden Survivors, Uncovering the Mental Health Struggles of Young British
following a successful online event on Tuesday 22nd June 2021 attended by over 100
people and hosted by Shadow Minister for Mental Health, Dr Rosena Allin-Khan MP.

Dr Allin-Khan opened the event by saying

Even before the pandemic, young people’s mental health was in crisis, coronavirus has only deepened the existing problems that previously existed providing a vital insight into the experiences of young Muslims who have accessed mental health services

Dr Allin-Khan

She went on to say:

“This report reminds us very starkly that anyone regardless of background can suffer with their
mental health and there really is no one size fits all approach when it comes to support.
Nevertheless as this report emphasises we have to understand the role played by cultural and
intersectional identities, as a Polish, Pakistani, Muslim, I can tell you what that is like, and now
more than ever it’s important that we acknowledge these (intersectional) identities, including
religion when understanding those who are struggling with their mental health”

An expert panel in the field of mental health representing various VCS organisations and the author
discussed key findings in the report which include:

• 4 in 5 Muslim young people said they had suffered mental health struggles
• 64% disclosing they had experienced suicidal thoughts
• Muslim young people are 3 more times more likely to look for support from friends than
accessing services with roughly the same amount of young people then not getting access to
• Three in five young Muslims, (61%), say it is important to them that mental health services
display cultural/ faith sensitivity.

Brian Dow, the Deputy Chief Executive of Rethink Mental Illness said in response “this is a pretty
serious indictment of the gap that is out there”.

“This is a pretty serious inictment of the gap that is out there”

Brian Dow

The panel went on to discuss the need to address the causes of poor health outcomes among
minority ethnic groups by tackling structural racism and negative experiences that deter Muslims
from accessing services, as well the importance of faith and culturally sensitive services to improve
health outcomes.

Families and communities have a valuable role to play… young people learn the tools to practice faith in their communities and mosques, therefore mental health literacy is an important tool so that parents can engage young people in positive conversations, acknowledge young people’s feelings and to not diminish their struggles or make young people feel guilty or that their feelings would pass”

Shenaz Bunglawala author of The Hidden Survivors Report