The government’s Prevent strategy requires frontline workers across health, social care and education to “enact counterterrorism policy” in their work. Initiated in 2015, there were over 7,000 referrals in the first year, the majority due to fears around Islamic extremism. This duty put upon frontline workers means bias and discrimination can seep into spaces that are meant to lend safety and security. Relying on the individual judgement of frontline workers, many of whom are overworked and underpaid, can perpetuate racial stereotypes.
Studies show that the existence of this duty is a decisive factor in Muslims avoiding mental health services.