GTA-based helpline for Muslim youth overwhelmed by U.S. callers
The concerns of Muslim youth are largely the same as those of all youth, said Yaseen Poonah. "Depression, mental health, bullying, suicide, LGBT and questioning gender identity are the big ones."
For every phone call that gets answered, Yaseen Poonah can't help but think about the thousands that don't.
Poonah, founder and president of Naseeha, a GTA-based volunteer helpline for Muslim youth, started the service nearly a decade ago with the aim of giving teens across North America a free and confidential place to call for support.
Staffed with counsellors for only three hours on weekday evenings, the service has long struggled to meet the demand of teens calling from as far away as Hawaii, New Mexico and California to talk and seek spiritual guidance, on issues common to all teens.
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