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Wednesday April 24, 2024

Pakistani-American psychiatrist to be honoured as one of top US women faith leaders

Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States Masood Khan, in a telephonic conversation, felicitates Dr Farha Abbasi for "making Pakistan and Pakistani diaspora in US proud"

By Web Desk
March 29, 2023
Pakistani-American psychiatrist Dr Farha Abbasi speaks during a conference on mental health at the US Institute of Peace in Washington DC. — Michigan State University/ psychiatry.msu.edu
Pakistani-American psychiatrist Dr Farha Abbasi speaks during a conference on mental health at the US Institute of Peace in Washington DC. — Michigan State University/ psychiatry.msu.edu

Dr Farha Abbasi, a renowned Pakistani-American psychiatrist and an active member of the Pakistani-American community in Michigan, is all set to be recognised as one of the top women faith leaders of US.

The honour will be given by the US Department of Health and Human Services during an event, 'Women on the Frontlines: Celebrating Women Faith Leaders' on Thursday. It will be hosted by Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra to honour 15 women faith leaders for their work and leadership qualities in the service of humanity.

Acknowledging this achievement, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States Masood Khan, in a telephonic conversation, felicitated Dr Abbasi for making Pakistan and Pakistani diaspora in US proud with her singular achievement. 

He said it is yet "another feather in our cap, proving huge talent and capabilities of the Pakistani diaspora".

Khan appreciated her services in providing a healing touch to those who needed it.

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 developing countries.

The envoy acknowledged her efforts in bringing the people of the two countries together.

The ambassador added that efforts were being made to create robust linkages between the universities of Pakistan and the United States for sharing knowledge and expertise.

Ambassador Khan further said that the doctors’ community of Pakistani descent in the US 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 the stigma attached to such issues due to a variety of reasons.

Who is Dr Farha Abbasi?

Dr Abbasi is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Michigan State University and a core faculty member of the Muslim Studies Programme. 

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 and cultural psychiatry and teaching medical students how to provide culturally appropriate care to Muslim patients. She works directly with the 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.