Shaykha Dr. Rania Awaad

Rania Awaad, M.D. is a Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the Stanford University School of Medicine where she is the Director of the Stanford Muslim Mental Health & Islamic Psychology Lab as well Stanford University’s Affiliate Chaplain. She also serves as the Associate Division Chief for Public Mental Health and Population Sciences as well as the Section Co-Chief of Diversity and Cultural Mental Health. In addition, she is a faculty member of the Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies at Stanford University. She pursued her psychiatric residency training at Stanford where she also completed a postdoctoral clinical research fellowship with the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

As a nationally recognized leader in Muslim mental health, Dr. Awaad has been invited by Presidents Obama and Biden, the CDC, HHS and SAMHSA to present her work at national convenings in DC. She has pioneered by establishing the first Muslim Mental Health Community Advisory Board (BAMMH CAB) in the US. Dr. Awaad has also established multiple Muslim mental health clinics as well as custom-tailored clinical and educational training programs for clinicians, religious and community leaders to address the mental health needs of Muslim communities.

Through community partnerships established by the Stanford Department of Psychiatry, Dr. Awaad is currently the Psychiatric Director of the El Camino Women’s Medical Group where she pursues her interest in women’s mental health. Additionally, she serves as the Executive Director of Maristan, a holistic mental health nonprofit serving Muslim communities. Previously, she served as the founding Clinical Director of the Bay Area branch of the Khalil Center.

Her courses at Stanford range from teaching a pioneering course on Islamic Psychology (PSYC 144/244), to instructing medical students, psychiatry residents and clinical psychology trainees on implicit bias and integrating culture and religion into medical care (PAU’s CLDV 700 and Stanford’s PGY-3 “Culture and Religion in Psychiatry”), to teaching undergraduate and graduate students the psychology of xenophobia (PSYC 86Q). Some of her recent academic publications include an edited volume on “Islamophobia and Psychiatry” (Springer, 2019), “Applying Islamic Principles to Clinical Mental Health” (Routledge, 2020) and an upcoming clinical textbook on Muslim Mental Health for the American Psychiatric Association. She has also produced a toolkit, fact sheet, CME course on Muslim mental health for the APA.

Dr. Awaad is particularly passionate about uncovering the historical roots of mental health care in the Islamic intellectual heritage and has two upcoming books on the topic. In addition, she is affiliate faculty of Islamic Psychology at the Cambridge Muslim College and The Islamic Seminary of America. She is also a Senior Fellow at the Yaqeen Institute and the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding. She also has an interest in refugee mental health and has traveled to Amman, Jordan multiple times with the Care Program for Refugees (CPR) sponsored by Al-Alusi Foundation. She worked on developing and presenting a “train the trainers” curriculum to aid workers and therapists in Amman working with Syrian and Iraqi refugees.

Prior to studying medicine, she pursued classical Islamic studies in Damascus, Syria and holds certifications (ijaza) in Qur’an, Islamic Law and other branches of the Islamic Sciences. Dr. Awaad has also previously served as the first female Professor of Islamic Law at Zaytuna College, a Muslim Liberal Arts College in Berkeley, CA. In addition, she serves as the Director of The Rahmah Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating Muslim women and girls. Dr. Awaad been the recipient of several awards and grants for her work. She is a nationally recognized speaker, award-winning teacher, researcher and author in both the Islamic and medical sciences. Follow her @Dr.RaniaAwaad

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