Call to Action: Support Mental Health in the Arab, Middle Eastern, North African, Muslim, and South Asian Communities

October 19, 2023

Over the past week, many of our staff, clients, and community members have watched the latest violence in Palestine and Israel with deep pain and heartbreak. We’re horrified by the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza and how this will impact families and children this week and for years to come. We mourn every life lost in Palestine and Israel and hold these families in our thoughts through this grieving process. 

This violence is now occurring in communities here in the United States, including New York and New Jersey, as we experience anti-Arab, anti-Semitic, and Islamophobic attacks. We’ve seen dehumanization and racism towards the Arab communities manifest in many ways: 

As an organization that has provided critical social services to marginalized immigrant and refugee communities in NYC since 1994, the Arab-American Family Support Center (AAFSC) strongly condemns any and all forms of violence that put our staff, clients, and community at risk. We also recognize many of our community members hold deep generational and personal lived experiences as Palestinian refugees or the descendants of Palestinian refugees, and their existence deserves to be recognized. 

Our focus through moments of crisis is to stay rooted in the facts. Social services, like the ones AAFSC provides, help to keep our communities safe and allow immigrants and refugees to call New York City their home. We continue to offer a suite of free social services — including mental health counseling in Arabic, Bangla, Farsi, Urdu, English, and Spanish — to any community member who needs it. 

If you’re looking for a way to help our communities as they navigate feelings of unthinkable pain, please consider making a donation to our Mental Health Counseling Program.

Support AAFSC's Mental Health Counseling Program

Our Mental Health Counseling Program provides unique access to mental health services that are designed to meet the psychosocial needs of our communities.

“Massive humanitarian catastrophes in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) have left generations of residents, immigrants, and refugees in different states of mental distress and despair. AAFSC’s Mental Health Counseling Program informs holistic healing and provides culturally and spiritually congruent, professional, accessible, and affordable mental health care for all. It’s needed now more than ever.”
– Wedad, AAFSC Mental Health Clinician

Our community members need you. We hope you will join our work to keep them safe in times of pain, tell their stories, and stand up for their safety, self-determination, and humanity. Our hearts are with every single person who is grieving and struggling.


Here are some resources and ways you can help: