In the years between 2010 and 2013, Creative Care served over 30 clients from the Persian community that were suffering from untreated and often undiagnosed mental health issues. This is good news, but when you think of the many that are going without any assistance, we have more work to do.

The issue of mental health disorders can be stigmatized among the Farsi speaking community and is often considered taboo to even speak of it. There is a cultural creed in this community called ‘taroof’ and this is when guests will come into the house and pretend as if they have no needs and the hosts have to guess what their needs are. This can be related to a person suffering from anxiety, depression or another mental health issue and pretending to feel fine and acting like nothing is wrong while others try to guess what the issue is. This can be frustrating and draining for both parties involved.

Anxiety, Depression, Bi-Polar, Borderline, and other mental health disorders exist among all demographics and populations and can be destructive and disheartening in anyone’s life and also can affect the ones who love them.

At Creative Care, we have found that in the Persian community more and more families are reaching out and seeking help for their loved ones who are suffering. The identified person often does not realize that it is okay to get help and are relieved when their family surrounds them with love and reaches out for them.

We at Creative Care are culturally competent and hold a dear spot for our Farsi speaking community and have staff members that are fluent in Farsi and can process in both English and Farsi. They provide ways to have tools for living and the skills necessary to cope with mental health disorders, thereby assisting to remove any stigma that may be attached to them.

We remain adaptable to all different types of family dynamics within the Persian community by having a multi-disciplinary staff that speak Farsi and are well versed in the culture of this demographic. They all work diligently to affect change with all of our clients. Dr. Iraj Shamsian holds a doctoral degree in clinical psychology and a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy. He was brought up in the Persian culture and is willing and able to meet with any of our Farsi speaking clients and assists them in processing their trauma in their native language. He not only meets with the client, but also meets with the families to help communication building and relationship healing.

Nina Farooz is a staff counselor who holds a masters degree in clinical psychology and is fluent in Farsi as well. She also has experience working with the LGBT community. Her background and expertise makes her a vital component to making our Persian clients feel comfortable and being available for them at any time.

Their knowledge of the Persian culture is combined with a deep understanding of how that may or may not affect a mental health issue such as clinical depression, anxiety, borderline, schizophrenia or bi-polar disorder. We hope that in the years to come we can be of service to many more in the Farsi speaking community to live a better life and breakthrough the barriers that may stigmatize those living with any of these issues.