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We ran two 30 minute interactive discussions on the topic of mental health and how it affects young people. The target age of the session was for the young men, however we were fortunate to also have young women join us from The Rooted Forum Youth Club.

Although there was some initial hesitation and reluctance to talk about mental health, there was a real engagement of the topic after some time from all the young people. It was clear that there needs to be more platforms in the community to talk about mental health openly especially to address the myths around it. Alhamdulillah, the young people gave some feedback where they said that it was a good workshop and that the two facilitators (Zaynab Hamdi & Farhana Maleque) were non- judgmental towards them. They also mentioned that they were happy with the positive feedback we gave them at the end of the session.

We thoroughly enjoyed facilitating the sessions. They felt generally relaxed and it felt like we gave the space for the young people to share their thoughts openly and privately which in turn helped us to develop a trusting relationship in a short space of time.

We want to thank the youth worker (Mukith) who had kindly invited us and for his hard work in helping to increase conversations about mental health within the youth.

May Allah continue to increase the knowledge of the young people who attended and may He pave a way for them to seek support when they need it. Ameen.

If you would like to get involved in raising awareness about mental health in your local community, we are looking to grow our outreach team to different cities around the country. We will ensure that you are fully trained and confident before running workshops/ talks. Please visit our website for more information:

Farhana Maleque

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.

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