Muslim Mental Health in Schools Toolkit: The first step 

Muslim Mind Collaborative embarked on a journey of research, consultation and intellectual interrogation to produce our toolkit resource which aids schools in improving faith literacy and cultural sensitivity in their school settings, with the aim of destigmatising and lightening the mental load of Muslim children and young people. 

It includes resources which acknowledge faith as a category of difference, tackle Islamophobia, stereotypes and unconscious bias in sensitive and evidence-informed ways, and socially astute resources to help leaders learn more about the lived experience of young Muslims, and to think about the cultural architecture of their school in new ways. 

Our Insight Report also contains broader context on the issue of Muslim mental health in schools, and presents our learning, as well as all the rich sentiment and data we unearthed through this extended project. It is an imperative read for school leaders and staff to better understand issues concerning young Muslims and their schooling and contains key recommendations in policy and practice, and thought provoking questions for your school. 

Toolkit Contents

  • INSET day presentation for teachers on Islam, British Muslim culture and the role faith plays in schooling 
    This is accompanied by notes that can be used as a follow up to the INSET session, or independently as stand-alone briefings for teachers or mental health first aiders and other pastoral care staff. 
    This resource provides insight and understanding of Islam and Muslim culture amongst teaching and pastoral staff, debunks myths and stereotypes, helps to destigmatise religious practice, provides a culturally astute insight into young British Muslim life and creates space for discussion and reflection.

  • PHSE model lesson plan on Islam and Muslims for primary school: The Importance of Respecting Others. 
    This includes a practical and hands-on way to foreground the importance of acknowledging similarities and respecting differences between people,  what makes us unique and special, and highlights the importance of respecting religious diversity in creating and maintaining healthy and happy relationships. This resource uses storytelling to create a reflective and engaging lesson suited to primary aged learning.

  • PHSE model lesson plan on Islam, British Muslim culture and the role faith plays in maintaining well-being for secondary schools; Negative Stereotypes: Islamophobia and its harm to all of us 
    Helps students to thoughtfully and sensitively explore how stereotypes are damaging and learn how they operate through the example of Islamophobia and media narratives. It also invites students look into the science behind racism and prejudicial thinking, as well as reflect on the need to project stereotypes through poetry. Students will also learn about interrogating prejudices and challenging stereotypes – including Muslim narratives of resistance and creating a comic strip based on inverting narratives for empowerment 

  • Identifying Islamophobic Bullying Poster 
    Helps to inform, educate and create a visible denouncement of Islamophobic bullying, to create more inclusive and safe school spaces 

  • Model anti-bullying policies regarding Islamophobia and anti-Muslim prejudice   
    Given the broader confusion around the term, on a national and political level, this will help schools to adopt a universal definition, and therefore combat any prejudice, bullying, discrimination or hate aimed at Muslims. It will also provide school leaders with the broader context of anti-Muslim hate and interrogate thinking in this critical area.

Would you like to get involved? 

I am a school leader

Download our report

I am a young person 

Use our template letter to inform your school about this resource.

I am a parent

Use our template letter to inform your child’s school about this resource 

I am a teacher

Use our template letter to inform leadership about this resource

Muslim Mind Collaborative are acutely aware that this toolkit and report represents only the first step in an imperfect journey towards inclusion for all. Our research, and ongoing dialogue with the education sector determined that for happy, productive schools, it is important for leaders to understand the cultural and religious context of their students. School represents a shared space for people from a number of different backgrounds, to grow and learn together, co-operatively from a place of mutual understanding and trust. Leaders that facilitate this from a place of openness, honesty and integrity will cultivate the most productive and content school cultures environments.  

This may take a little out-of-the-box thinking, and some mental retraining. We acknowledge the dynamic and hive-like nature of our rich education sector, and therefore the need for this to be part of an ongoing debate regarding inclusivity, identity, belonging and the key act of shaping our next generation of citizens. Therefore we encourage schools to reach out to us and one another for ideas in best practice, and innovative thinking in this field. Contact for feedback or further suggestions. 

As an ongoing journey that we are on with future generations and iterations of British Muslims, we have a lot of hope and aspirations for the shape that this journey will take.