As increasing attention is given to mental health needs in the Muslim community, a new platform has developed for the Arab world called Juthoor (Juthoor.co) to help. This platform is important as it addresses the stigma associated with mental health, as well as offers a list of therapists who can provide culturally appropriate services. Happily, there is an increasing amount of services that are becoming available to Muslims for their mental health needs. Recently, Muslim Girl spoke with Juthoor about their work.
Muslim Girl: What exactly is Juthoor.co?
Juthoor: Juthoor is an online mental health teleconsultation platform that connects clients with independent clinicians via a highly secured technology (HIPAA compliant) to make clinical consultations convenient, available, and affordable for people seeking an alternative to in-person appointments in the Middle East and North Africa region. Juthoor is the first in the Arab world to offer services through smartphone/desktop/laptop.
Muslim Girl: How did you come up with the concept?
Juthoor: As a kid, I always wanted to study psychology but never had the opportunity due to the stigma surrounding mental health and the profession. In 2018, I was sitting with my father and I mentioned that mental health issues are on the rise and there is a lack of qualified clinicians in the Arab world, in addition to easier and private access to therapists. The idea originated from that discussion, but I never had time due to many other commitments. However, COVID-19 presented me with an opportunity, and that was time. Hence, I was able to work and finalize Juthoor.
Muslim Girl: Can you talk about what you see as the mental health needs of the Arab world, and how Juthoor can help meet these needs?
Juthoor: The Arab world faces very unique challenges unlike other regions, and our primary focus at the moment is to have enough qualified and licensed professionals be part of our platform to support the Arab world. We are also focusing on psychoeducational material to raise awareness through social media and destigmatize the way people think and approach mental health.
Muslim Girl: What do you see the additional supports that could contribute to Juthoor’s success as a mental health resource? At the level of community interventions, what kind of additional supports are needed to really provide excellent mental health services in the Arab world?
Juthoor: The goal for most people with mental illness is to manage their condition in the community. For this to work, in addition to social supports, the appropriate recognition and investment from the health system needs to be in place. This is extremely foundational and will contribute to the success of Juthoor being recognized as a trusted resource in the community. We would like to see plans of addressing the stigma and spreading awareness of mental health. Also, increasing collaborative efforts, building research infrastructure, strengthen the mental health workforce, and continued research and publication. This will drive a roadmap towards a call for action and create the impact that we would like to see on the ground.
Muslim Girl: There is a lot of conversation about the importance of decolonizing psychology, and mental health. Do you have any thoughts on this that you would be willing to share with our readers?
Juthoor: Yes, I completely agree that it is incredibly important to decolonize mental health spaces and psychology and I think one of the ways we can do that is through representation (more clinicians of color with different backgrounds and tradition enter the field).
Muslim Girl: Going forward, what do you see happening as Juthoor develops as a platform? What are your dreams for your work, 10, 15, or 20 years from now?
Juthoor: We hope that Juthoor will become a trusted platform in the community that will continue to connect people with mental health professionals.
We also hope to see Juthoor become a reference point and a partner for all public, private, and civil society organizations. We envision Arab communities that enjoy access to optimal mental health services. We strongly believe that with access to quality mental health services, Arab communities will become more productive and contribute positively to their society and economy. Currently, we are in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals – Goal #3 Good Health & Wellbeing.
Muslim Girl: What are the logistics of Juthoor? When and how can people start accessing the platform?
Juthoor: Once a client sign’s up, they will have access to all clinicians on the platform. Clients have the ability to either request an initial consultation (free) prior to committing for the price of a session or book a consultation directly. We decided to take a different approach to other tele-health platforms to ensure that the client and therapist are the right fit for each other. Each therapist, depending on their modality, choose between chat, audio, and video as a service to provide for clients. All the services are visible to the clients prior to booking a consultation. Most importantly, clients will have the ability to read the profile of each clinician prior to understand their backgrounds better.
People can access the platform today from anywhere they are located in and at any time convenient for them. We have made access to mental health services easier through smartphone (iOS and Android), desktop, and laptop. No matter what expert people decide to speak with, all clinicians are vetted and hold the highest clinical standards on Juthoor. Additionally, all clinicians respect client’s privacy and confidentiality and are above all, non-judgmental, culturally sensitive, and respect clients from all backgrounds and ideas.
If you want to connect with the services Juthoor has to offer you can do so here: www.juthoor.co
Additional social media links:
Instagram and Facebook: Juthoorcare
Client contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Therapist contact email: email@example.com