Suicide, Depression & Anxiety: One Woman Is Trying To Reduce These For Ex-Muslims (& how to help)
I know that many of you do not have to imagine what it's like to leave your religion behind. You lived it. You fought the guilt and bravely tore back the curtain. You found freedom in a world of dogma. For some of you, though, it was a lot worse than for others.
You already know that there are places where people can meet a violent end just for questioning their faith out loud. What happens to someone in a situation like that when they realize they no longer believe in god? How can they protect themselves? How do we help keep them safe?
Our fellow activist, Yasmine Mohammed, has one solution: support them emotionally.
Yasmine founded her organization, Free Hearts, Free Minds (FHFM), in response to the steady flow of emails from ex-Muslims in Muslim-majority countries asking for help. When starting to fight for this very cause, most activists discover that moving people away from the danger is not always possible. However, emotional support is. Yasmine had her own harrowing experiences leaving religion behind, and so she knew that ex-Muslims in Muslim-majority countries most likely felt alone, scared, anxious and depressed. Some may even be suicidal. When she brought FHFM to life, it was with this in mind. She aims to help people find ways to cope and find connection.
FHFM offers a six-week program developed by Life Coach Jimmy Bangash who has lived through the experience of leaving Islam himself. In Yasmine's words,
He takes people through a program which he developed along with his university professors that helps to give people who are feeling completely helpless and hopeless—because even speaking to a friend, family member, or spouse could get them arrested or killed—to help them deal with the trauma, guilt, and self-hate by providing coping mechanisms and strategies.
At International Association of Atheists, we're proud to be partnering with Yasmine Mohammed and her organization, Free Hearts, Free Minds, because it aims to save lives. For the month of June, we will be raising funds for FHFM. We aim to enable Yasmine to throw a lifeline out to more people. The more funds we raise for FHFM, the more people we can help. It's as simple as that.
If you want to support a specific purpose, here's the breakdown:
$135 covers the cost of a 1-hour session.
$800 will cover the full six-week program for one individual.
But even just a dollar will help provide Ex-Muslims in need access to these services.
We want to save lives, and we firmly believe that the program offered by FHFM is accomplishing that by providing understanding, solidarity, human connection and support. We believe in our partners and their initiatives. International Association of Atheists aims to prop them up and shine a light on the good things atheists are doing around the world. We are ecstatic to be able to launch this fundraiser for Free Hearts, Free Minds and we hope you can support it.
Visit Yasmine’s website here: www.freeheartsfreeminds.com