Pakistani-American psychiatrist makes her way to US top faith leaders

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will recognize Dr. Farha Abbasi, a renowned psychiatrist and active member of the Pakistani-American community in Michigan, as one of the nation’s top women faith leaders.

Women on the Frontlines: Celebrating Women Faith Leaders, an event that would be hosted by Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra on March 30, 2023 to honor 15 women faith leaders for their incredible work and extraordinary leadership qualities in the service of humanity.

Dr. Abbasi is Assistant Professor in Department of Psychiatry at Michigan State University and core faculty member of the Muslim Studies Program. She received the American Psychiatric association SAMSHA Minority fellowship in 2009 and used the grant money to create awareness about cultural competency, to redefine it as not just tolerance but acceptance. Her areas of interest include faith & cultural psychiatry and teaching medical students how to provide culturally appropriate care to Muslim patients. She works directly with Muslim American community to encourage integration rather than isolation from mainstream society.

Dr. Abbasi is the founding director of the Annual Muslim Mental Health Conference which was attended by experts from 30 countries. She also launched a Global Muslim Mental Health Conference in Malaysia and Jordan. She is also making efforts to create safe spaces for people affected by  domestic violence and substance abuse.

Ambassador Masood Khan telephoned Dr. Abbasi today and felicitated her for making Pakistan and Pakistani diaspora in the United States proud with her singular achievement. “It is yet another feather in our cap, proving the huge talent and capabilities of the Pakistani diaspora,” he said.

Talking to the Ambassador, Dr. Abbasi said that she has been working for the past 15 years not only to reinforce the efficacy of faith and cultural based solutions in addressing mental health issues but also to remove the stigma that typically surrounds mental health issues especially in the developing countries.

Masood Khan appreciated her services in providing healing touch to those who needed our attention

the most. He also acknowledged her efforts in bringing people of the two countries together.

Masood Khan said that mental health facilities were available in all major hospitals of Pakistan and efforts were afoot to ensure provision of such facilities in far off places. He said that psychiatry was being taught in major universities of Pakistan and was becoming a popular discipline . The Ambassador added that efforts were being made to create robust linkages between universities of Pakistan and the United States for sharing of knowledge and expertise.

Ambassador Khan further said that doctors’ community of Pakistani descent in the United States could significantly help their Pakistani brothers and sisters in addressing issues related to mental health issues, creating greater awareness, overcoming resource constraints and most importantly removing stigma attached to such issues due to a variety of reasons.  -Press Release

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