Talat Baig

Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder

Talat is a Mathematics and Computer Science graduate from UCL and Imperial College London and currently works as a Data Scientist at a startup bringing solar powered energy to the developing world. He has worked at many charities and non-profit organisations before going on to help start Inspirited Minds. He is fascinated by the mind and psychology and is passionate about supporting and promoting healthy mental wellbeing.

Shahrina Ahmed

Co-Founder

Shahrina is a graduate of Psychology and a teacher of Science. She has worked with many charitable causes and with students with learning difficulties. She currently teaches students, where some are from unprivileged backgrounds and thus develop mental illnesses. She recognised there were no Muslim organisations to help sufferers, after a few close friends and family developed some form of illness. Shahrina has always had an interest in psychology and the mind, however from this, her passion for helping these people developed.

Salina Ahmed

Chief Visionary Officer & Co-Founder

Salina is an activist engaging on subjects pertaining to religion, social issues and politics. She has partaken in these matters through written entries and public settings, sharing platforms with other intellectuals.Salina wishes to see a world absent from ills, conscious of oppression and a world against doctrines of conformity where it is safe to be unpopular. Salina hopes to be a contributing factor to a free society.

Meanha Begum

Public Relations Manager

Meanha is currently studying a degree in Islamic Psychology where she has been given the blessing to explore her passions, Islam and Psychology. She relishes in the insight of an Islamic perspective to incorporate into psychology, to help those who have never been given a chance that every devout Muslim, and non Muslim deserves. Which is why she considers Inspirited Minds to be a huge blessing in her life. She has been brought up in a heavy western environment, where Islam was once far from her reach, but through trials and tribulations, she has managed to come out stronger and closer to Allah than ever before. It’s simply her experiences, ideas, and open nature that pushes her towards wanting to help others out of their vulnerable places, through their journey, and into happiness, with tranquil souls.

Hamida Moulvi

Public Relations Officer

Hamida has a BSc (Hons) Psychology degree, having studied modules concerning Emotions and Mental Health. She is passionate about giving back to the community as it is important to benefit others – every little helps, in inspiring changes and raising awareness, especially within Muslim communities where many cultures can believe mental health isn’t a real problem. She has a love for the way Islam guides, inspires and heals (HasbunAllahu w ni’mal wakeel) and is also interested in languages, being multilingual. She believes words have a powerful impact whether that be in written or spoken form, and that we are all here to learn, implement and share so helping write articles would achieve this also.

Jamilla Hekmoun

Public Relations Officer

Jamilla is a final year undergraduate studying Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies and Vice President of the Islamic Society at the University of Exeter. After being diagnosed with anxiety and depression, she is keen on improving the understanding of mental health conditions within Muslim communities. Follow her on Twitter @JamillaTweets.

Maryam Clark

Illustrator

Farhana Maleque

Outreach Manager

Farhana is a psychology graduate from Sussex University and currently undertaking motivational interviewing training. She works as an assistant psychologist in an inpatient psychiatric hospital in the NHS. She’s actively involved in running psychological groups like mindfulness, wellbeing, recovery and self compassion, as well as working with peer support workers (individuals with lived experience) to run co-produced training and workshops for staff and the community. She is also working as a research assistant in a number of service development projects. Her special interests lie in developing ones self-awareness and self compassion. She is also motivated in normalizing and reframing people’s view on different mental health difficulties by exploring and understanding a range of contributing factors. These include relationships, childhood experiences, life events, stressors and others. Farhana is passionate about working and learning from those with lived experience and carers, and help empower them to look at themselves and others as humans, steering away from labels to recognize and appreciate their unique set of skills, values, hopes and dreams. Through the work with Inspirited Minds, she is eager to reach out to everyone, specifically individuals from black, ethnic minority backgrounds, the Muslim community, young people, and those who are experiencing or have experienced social injustice, so we can start valuing and openly talk about our mental health like we do with our physical health when we go to the doctors.

Zahra Samih

Outreach Worker

Zahra is a psychology graduate studying MSc mental health. Her experiences have shown her how both minority and faith communities are affected by mental health and surrounding issues, and the work that needs to be done to bridge the existing gaps. She is passionate about confronting these issues within the Muslim communities, and believes that as Muslims we should be at the forefront of dealing with our tests, as a community that supports one another. A key element is to build up our brother/sisterhood, supporting one another in building ourselves up, in eman; in deen, and to also be there during the hard times- not to just to fill wedding invitations! Zahra sees this as a part of her work at Inspirited Minds; to further the understanding of mental health so that our community understands both what’s happening as well as how to support each other. Other than these visions, Zahra would describe herself as mayonnaise in the sandwich of life: ‘I’m friendly, chatty and easy to get along with, mayonnaise to keep the sandwich together.”

Sabaa Hejazi

Outreach Worker

Sabaa is a psychology graduate, with modules varying across developmental to clinical psychology. She has learnt that psychology not only helps you understand yourself but also those around you. During her studies, she gained knowledge of different mental health disorders and how they can impact your life on a daily basis. Working with Inspirited Minds, she hopes to share the knowledge she has learnt to educate and encourage the community about the importance of mental health by raising awareness. She hopes to reach out and provide information to individuals and families affected by mental health issues.

Sultan Hatab

Outreach Worker

Sultan is a medical student at King’s College London, successfully running many welfare projects in collaboration with the Islamic Society. He is passionate about battling the stigma of mental health in Muslim and South Asian communities.

Haleema Akhtar

Outreach Worker

Haleema is a student at SOAS studying for a degree in International Relations. She is interested in grassroots activism within the BME community. In her spare time, she enjoys blogging, reading, and baking. Haleema joined Inspirited Minds as she is passionate about tackling the stigma around mental health in the Muslim community. She hopes to make a difference in this regard and wants to encourage a conversation about mental health in mosques and beyond, in order to empower individuals and ensure that nobody suffers in silence.

Siddika Khatun

Outreach Worker

Siddika Khatun is currently a law student at Queen Mary University of London. She’s actively involved in many different projects involving local youth and community groups and thus with her vast experience she is willing to impart Inspirited Minds with expertise and enthusiasm.

Iman Ben Ahmed

Support Manager

Iman is a Mental Health activist. She holds an Undergraduate degree of Psychology from Saint Mary’s University, Canada. She is currently completing her MA in Counselling in London. Iman is a counsellor in training with Place2Be, a renowned child counselling service. She is also an adult addictions counsellor. Iman works in the Maya Centre, which is a women’s counselling service, addressing issues such as domestic abuse and women’s rights in society. Iman is driven to combat the stigma regarding Mental Health, and she strives to educate and raise awareness about the cause. This passion drove her to start a Mental Health initiative on her university campus, aiding Muslim and minority students on campus with their Mental Health concerns, as well as running educational workshops, which is a step closer to the destigmatization of Mental Health. This project is growing rapidly, and extending to universities across London.

Sara Tofiq

Support Worker

Sara currently studies BSc Psychology at UCL. She spends a lot of her time conducting and assisting research on the clinical population. Sara likes to volunteer her time helping out those in need, and spends her summers in the classroom with special needs children. In her spare time, she enjoys blogging and discovering new places of bliss. She aims to become a clinical psychologist in the future with the hope of setting up her own mental health clinic in the Middle East

Hafsah Aneela Bashir

Support Worker

Hafsah is a poet, writer and spoken word artist with a BA in English and Criminology and has completed an MA in Postcolonial Literary and Culture at the University of Leeds. She worked as a mentor for prolific offenders with drugs, alcohol and mental heath issues in Manchester and now works with various vulnerable and marginalised groups within the community such as refugees and asylum seekers using creative agency as a means of expression and therapy. She belongs to writing collectives, Common Word and Manchester Muslim Writers and facilitates creative writing workshops within the community working with young people to develop an understanding of identity and empowerment. Her additional work with NGO’s, providing emergency supplies and medical aid to conflict zones informs her creativity producing a form of lyrical activism. She raises awareness through this about social injustice and has a keen interest in writing as a form of resistance and liberty. Her passion lies in enabling others to empower themselves to reach their full potential and challenge the stigmas surrounding mental heath issues within society having had experience of this herself. She blogs at http://hafsahaneelabashir.wordpress.com

Nasihah Anwer

Support Worker

Nasihah came across the hadith “The best of people are those that bring most benefit to the rest of mankind.” many years ago and has since tried to implement it and try to be of benefit, and help as many people as possible, in whatever capacity she can. This has led to her working and volunteering with many charitable causes, through raising funds, awareness, organising events, taking part in challenges and more. She has recently completed her BSc in Psychology and plans to study MSc Mental Health Science in the near future. She wants to improve the understanding of mental health conditions, especially within Muslim communities as many of us fail to see mental health as a real problem. Nasihah is passionate about giving back to the community and helping others, this combined with her interest in mental health has led to her working with Inspirited Minds as a support worker.

Husna Hejazi

Support Worker

Husna has a BSc (Hons) Psychology degree. With target modules surrounding mental well-being. During her undergraduate, she learnt the theories and developments surrounding mental health and psychological disorders as well as the stigmas attached with the public. Husna has a passion for helping people with their problems and hopes her experience with Inspirited Minds will help her help the community by educating and breaking the stigma which surrounds mental health and the implications caused by religious and cultural communities. She hopes to make a positive impact to someone’s life by instilling confidence in oneself to talk about their mental health, as mental health is just as important as physical health.

Sandy Abdalla

Support Worker

Sandy has graduated with a bachelors degree from UCL in Biomedical Science. She then went to study her Masters degree in Biomedical Engineering at Brunel University. She is now pursuing a career in mental health as a Support Worker for Look Ahead and doing a 3 month placement as an Activities Coordinator for the NHS in Hillingdon Hospital. She also teaches mental health in schools and colleges as a Youth Wellbeing Trainer for the Mind charity and focussing on delivering presentations on the five ways to wellbeing and mindfulness. She is passionate about inspiring people to live their lives fully and empowering people to achieve their goals. At IM Sandy is a Support Worker managing clients and referring them to the psychology team. She hopes to make a difference in people’s lives.

Karima Abdou

Support Worker

Karima is currently studying Psychology at UCL and also works at the Anna Freud National Centre for Families and Children. She has a passion for mental health and spends much of her time keeping up to date with the research going on within the field. Her future goals include improving access to psychological therapies and mental health education, and becoming a clinical psychologist.

Fatima Dadabhoy

Counsellor

Fatima is a qualified, integrative counsellor and has been dealing with a range of issues throughout her career. Fatima has particular expertise and experience in dealing with stress, anxiety, abuse, violence and relationship problems. Fatima is also experienced in working with clients, being non-judgemental and working within a confidential environment. When under stress a person’s thinking ability may become blocked, however Fatima believes that every client has the potential to move forward from their stressful situation, when given the right conditions and opportunities. Fatima is emphatic with her clients, in order to understand their feelings at a deep level. She accepts and values her clients without any conditions attached. She works as a congruent and genuine counsellor and aims to build a strong client-counsellor relationship. Fatima is able to speak English, Urdu and Gujrati.

Georgina Cardo

Counsellor

Georgina is an experienced counsellor who specialises in Transactional Analysis Psychotherapy. She is a registered member of the United Kingdom Association for Transactional Analysis (UKATA) and holds a certificate in Counselling in Person Centered Counselling. Georgina is constantly bettering her knowledge via further studies, for her personal development. She is currently completing her BSc (Hons) Degree in Counselling Studies and Therapeutic Skills and is also in her final year of post graduate level training for a Diploma in Transactional Analysis Psychotherapy a UKCP accredited course. Georgina is a revert to Islam, who is extremely hardworking, passionate and conscientious to the needs of her clients. Her passion for counselling arose when she noticed the difficulties of being a Muslim women in the West, which she felt required psychological attention.

Nazish Hussain

Counsellor

Nazish is a professional, experienced, multilingual, BACP registered integrative counsellor with an M.Ed, B.A in Psychology and F.Da in Counselling. She is working as a counsellor, Psychotherapist, life Coach, NLP Practitioner and Educator. She is founder of an Islamic Supplementary school (Al Jannah Academy) and a counselling practice (Here 2 Listen). She can offer counselling in English, Hindi, Punjabi & Urdu. She specialises in anxiety, stress, trauma, depression, panic attacks, anger , self esteem, alcohol and work related issues. She has vast personal and professional experience working with loss & bereavement, couple & relationships, eating disorders, bullying, violence or abuse, career counselling and child related issues. She has worked with organisation like Hospice and Mind. Her interest include exploring how the client’s spiritual belief system affects the process and outcome of the therapy.

Aaliyah Shaikh

Counsellor

Aaliyah is the founder of Rahmah Wellbeing, a Psychotherapeutic Counsellor and Birth Trauma Educator. She holds an MEd in Child and Adolescent Psychotherapeutic Counselling from University of Cambridge (thesis: An unconscious alchemy of the womb: How women’s (psychosocial and neurobiological) experiences and feelings regarding menstruation and birth affect their attachment relationship with their child) and a MA in Muslim Community Studies. Aaliyah worked as the youngest employed Muslim female Chaplain from the age of 24 for Imperial College NHS Healthcare Trust for 6 years. She specialises in trauma, and the time in the womb as impacting later life development. She is interested in neuroscience, demedicalisation of birth, trauma, attachment, psychology of pain, and the role of patriarchy in women’s health. Aaliyah feels passionately towards natural health, unschooling, natural parenting and conscious living. Her passion is in encouraging women to reclaim their bodies and choices from culture, patriarchy and medicalisation and to empower women through igniting conscious awareness of the power of the womb to restore and heal.

Ansa Ahmed

Counsellor

Abutaher Miah

Islamic Advisor

Abutaher studied at a young age in an Islamic secondary school and further pursued his studies at ‘The Institute of Islamic education’ in Deswbury. He has been enchanted by the rich history of the Islamic culture. The knowledge of Islam that he has acquired gave him an understanding of the complexity of the ever intriguing world we live in today. The mixture of his educational experiences and the joy of supporting others has enforced the thought that he enjoyed the challenge and responsibility of educating others and providing guidance and support. He maintains an energetic importance in contemporary technologies and classical sciences and has the ability to talk to many different types of people with ease. The experiences and knowledge he has gained from studying Islamic Studies has enabled him to be dedicated in captivating and engaging the hearts and minds of others. He has had the opportunity to help several brothers and sisters who were in need of advice and support. Through the sheer blessing and mercy of Allah, they found his advice beneficial and it led them to a better lifestyle.

Daniyal Gilani

Fundraising Manager

Daniyal is an International Politics graduate and Technical Consultant by profession. Having worked for charities in the UK and overseas, the issues facing sufferers of mental health illnesses became more apparent and made a deep impression on him. With a passion for social enterprise and innovative community projects with impact, Daniyal hopes to use his knowledge and experience to reduce stigma around mental health.

Mehrun Hejazi

Fundraising Officer

MehrUn-Nasa (MehrUn for short) is a qualified dental nurse. Coming from a big family Alhumdulillah, has always been influenced by those around her. Recently, her little sisters have graduated with a psychology degree. Already interested in health and wellbeing, sitting with them and hearing them talk about mental health has sparked an interest. Their favourite saying is “mental health and physical health should hold the same importance”. One day, they left me speechless when they asked “what is more important for survival, the brain or the heart?” She has helped fundraise for other charities, spreading the word about noticeable causes like Winter Walk for Gaza and Sounds of Light for Gaza. Being the voice for those who need is important to her.

Jenny Bari

Fundraising Officer

Jenny is a Biology graduate and currently works for a Biopharmaceutical company as a Data Analyst. She has volunteered for 2 other charities and has a passion for alleviating Mental Illness in the UK and Internationally.

Maria Zafar

Fundraising Officer

Maria is a Politics graduate from Queen Mary University of London and is currently working as an Engagement Coordinator for the Social integration charity the National Citizen Service. Maria has also previously worked as a Campaigns and External affairs intern for Islamic relief who she is currently a climate change activist for. Maria believes that mental illness is still a taboo in many cultures and is passionate about raising awareness of the many misconceptions associated with mental health.

Abir Ali

Web & Digital Officer

Abir has graduated in Computer Science and has always been active within the community. He has a passion for Muslim mental health and wants to utilise his studies and serve the ummah in some way.

Suzi Salleh

Social Media Specialist

Suzi is a Press Officer in London. Previously, she held Public Relations and Social Media roles in both public and private sectors in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. Her experience of working and living in different countries has imbued her with an affinity for different cultures and individual narratives. She hopes that more people would take as much interest in mental well-being as with physical well-being. As the (unknown) saying goes, “the hardest prison to escape is your mind.”

Leyla Habebti

Spokesperson

Leyla is the spokesperson for Inspirited Minds, a humanitarian and a survivor. Her journey through life has been a daily battle where she has self-taught to conquer each day. She is honoured to have been given the opportunity to work with Inspirited Minds and help to not just highlight but bring out the stigma surrounding Mental Health and work together as a team to fight this battle of the mind. ‘It’s the broken ones with shattered hearts, whose souls are pierced with love… it’s the broken ones that I love’

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