Main Article Content
Background: Mosques are the most holy places in the eyes of Allah-Exalted and Glorified, and the religious mosque leaders (Khateebs) who read 15-20 minutes Khutbah prior to Friday Prayers have great knowledge in religion of Islam and are considered the peace-building leaders through delivering the pertinent Friday sermons around the world.
Objective: This online consenting cross-sectional survey explored the mental health awareness, perceptions, attitudes and practices of Khateebs of Riyadh region, Saudi Arabia.
Methods: This survey used 14-items self-designed culturally competitive questionnaire and sociodemographic proforma to tap religious mosque leaders’ knowledge, perceptions, practices and attitude towards mental health.
Results: Majority of mosque leaders were middle aged with higher education and extensive experience as a model of true interlocutor (Khateeb). Their knowledge and practices revealed were replete with religious and spiritual healing approaches but religious mosque leaders did not completely overlook the role of psychiatric medications and mental health professionals in the management of mentally ill persons. However, religious mosque leaders showed some negative attitudes towards patients with mental disorders, and recommended 10 corrective guides including integration of mosques and religious leaders into mental health system.
Conclusion: Despite mosque leader’s good mental health literacy, they need further training to plug certain loopholes traced in their mental health literacy. Researchers should conduct further similar research overcoming the caveats of this survey not only in Saudi Arabia but also globally in Muslim world.
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