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Farha Abbasi

Farha Abbasi

Assistant Professor of Psychiatry

Farha Abbasi's areas of interest are cultural psychiatry and teaching how to provide culturally appropriate care to Muslim patients.

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Area of Expertise

Muslim Mental Health Muslim American Community


Dr. Farha Abbasi is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Michigan State University and core faculty member of the Muslim Studies Program. She is from Pakistan and settled in the United States in the year 2000 with her three daughters. In January of 2009, Dr. Abbasi received the American Psychiatric association SAMSHA Minority fellowship. She used the grant money to create awareness about cultural competency, to redefine it as not just tolerance but acceptance.

Her areas of interest ... are cultural psychiatry and teaching medical students how to provide culturally appropriate care to Muslim patients. She works directly with Muslim American community to encourage integration rather than isolation from mainstream society. In addition to her efforts to build bridges between the two cultures, Dr. Abbasi work as a psychiatrist has led her to address the barriers that stigmatize and silence mental health.

She is the founding director of the Annual Muslim Mental Health Conference. In 2018 the tenth conference was held at the United State Institute Of Peace in Washington, DC. In addition, she launched a Global Muslim Mental Health Conference in Malaysia and Jordan. She is also the managing editor of the Journal of Muslim Mental Health and Director of the Muslim Mental Health Consortium, Michigan State University.

Dr. Abbasi has received numerous awards for her service to the community and promoting mental health. Dr. Abbasi was an Honoree, National Alliance of Mentally Ill, and American Psychiatric Foundation Award for Promoting Minority Mental Health and Globie award winner, Office of International Students Services, Community Service Award by All Pakistanis Physician of North America and Community Service Award by Pakistan Women Association of Michigan.

She has served on many boards and committees including Council on Minority Mental Health and Health Disparities American Psychiatric Association. She currently chairs the Mental Health Task Force for the Mayor of Lansing, Michigan.

She works relentlessly and tirelessly towards one goal: Learning to coexist and go beyond our differences to reach the common point of peace and prosperity.

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Michigan State University: MPH,

Michigan State University: Psychiatry Residency Program, | 2010

Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences: M.B.B.S., | 1989

Selected Press

Pakistani-American psychiatrist to be honoured as one of top US women faith leaders

The News International | 2023-03-30

Talking to the ambassador, Dr Abbasi said that she has been working for the past 15 years not only to reinforce the efficacy of faith and cultural-based solutions in addressing mental health issues but also to remove the stigma that typically surrounds mental health issues, especially in developing countries.

Dr. Farha Abbasi earns national recognition for work on minority mental health

Michigan State University | 2023-03-24

She calls this recognition on the national stage “humbling, validating and rejuvenating.” She continues, “Visibility is viability, and getting this award will help bring focus on the stigma and shame that silences mental illnesses in minority settings.”

Facebook changes its corporate name to Meta: MSU professors react

The State News | 2021-11-29

Farha Abbasi, an assistant professor of psychiatry at MSU, says people turn toward faith and community in times of crisis and trauma.

“From an Islamic perspective, there are some themes that (are) seen in moments of crisis. Wellness becomes important, welfare becomes important, but then bringing it all back to the community,” explains Abbasi.