Mahdi shares how he was born in Calgary, moved to Palestine for 4 years in his teens, and then returned to Edmonton. He believes in having a common ground and purpose; as a supervisor, mentoring the younger generation is paramount. Regarding racism and injustice, he voices the importance of how rage is not enough and that we must take action.
I am always a father of four and a Psychologist. But only sometimes, unnecessarily referred to as Dr. Mahdi Qasqas, as I have a PhD in Social Work from the University of Calgary. I am intrigued by three simple questions: who helps the helpers, why do they do it, and how? I started my ‘helper’ trajectory over 20 years ago and now my research, training, and passion orbit around ‘helping the helpers’; with an emphasis on the supervision of future mental health professionals. This lengthy serious leisure pursuit has helped facilitate the architecture and design of the Psycho-Spiritual First Aid® mental health consultation framework. Its essential purpose is to guide the development of practical tools that are grounded in evidence, culturally adapted, and localized to better facilitate health, well-being, and healing. Although my specialization is in what some refer to as Muslim mental health and Islamic Psychology, or perhaps Islamic Industrial and Organizational Psychology, I like to focus on the intersecting challenges we face as a society and a profession and work towards solutions that have practical first steps.