Tajikistan (MNN) — While mental health is already a worldwide concern during the pandemic, Tajikistan is the poorest country in the former Soviet Union, making its citizens especially vulnerable. Without a national mental health program, people who are struggling with anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts have few places to go for help.
That’s why SAT-7, a satellite broadcast ministry to the Middle East and North Africa, is launching a new program in Tajikistan called Mental and Spiritual Health. The program will be featured on their Farsi-speaking channel SAT-7 PARS.
SAT-7 USA’s marketing and communications manager Joe Willey explains, “The program was developed for women in Tajikistan where the suicide rate, sadly, has been increasing in recent years. The majority [of suicides] are young women between the ages of 18 and 40. So this program was created to help women thrive both mentally and spiritually.”
Tajikistan is 98 percent Muslim and family structure is everything in the culture. When a young woman in Tajikistan gets married, she often moves in with her husband and in-laws and is expected to serve the family. In this context, abuse and bullying can take place, and seeking outside help is frowned upon.
“There’s a lack of understanding and also a stigma around the issue of mental health,” Willey says. “Many try to hide their symptoms because they worry what people will think of them.”
SAT-7’s Mental and Spiritual Health program is presented by Christians and medical professionals who can offer mental health support and hope in Christ.
To learn more about SAT-7’s broadcast ministry, click here!
Meanwhile, Willey asks, “Please pray that the small-but-growing Church in Tajikistan would persevere and show that there is hope that is found in Jesus Christ, and also that the Mental and Spiritual Health program would be an effective tool in helping women in Tajikistan who are suffering to regain their mental health.”
Header photo courtesy of Ilhoms via Wikimedia Commons.