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On 7th of July 2019, Inspirited Minds was invited to give a talk on Mental Health, organised by the local Muslim community in Luton for an event on Mental Health called ‘Peace of Mind: Piece of Islam’. This event was attended by approximately 50 people and the layout of the programme was designed in a way that it was quite accessible for people to learn about mental health. The organisers wanted someone from Inspirited Minds to speak about their personal experiences of Mental health and how faith helped in coping and overcoming anxiety and depression.

I spoke about being a victim of domestic abuse and experiencing post-traumatic stress after being hit by a moped while crossing the road. I talked about how faith helped me in managing the symptoms of anxiety and depression and get over my fear of crossing the road again. I also stressed upon the fact that help is out there for those who wish to seek it and how Cognitive Behaviour Therapy helped me in getting over my fears and overcoming the barriers in leading a normal life all over again.

Domestic abuse is quite common in the Muslim community but it is a taboo issue and no one likes to talk about it, but the consequences of suffering in silence can be fatal at times. Although our religion teaches us not suffer injustice of any kind and not to be oppressed. I spoke in English as well as in Urdu as most people in the audience spoke Urdu language.

The attendees gave positive feedback and were happy to hear someone talk about real-life experiences. Many people approached Inspirited Minds to ask questions about the charity and how it can offer help and support to people struggling with mental health issues. One lady showed concerns about her younger sister who was in an abusive relationship and was too scared to seek help or get out of that relationship. I gave her some important information about the service providers who are there to help the victims and survivors of all forms of abuse and how her sister can talk to her GP of she was feeling distressed. Some people were interested in getting private counseling or therapy but were concerned about the costs involved and I assured them Inspirited Minds provides professional support services at a very reasonable and affordable price.

They had many other speakers from different faith-based mental health organisations and psychologists who shared their knowledge with the audience.

It was a lovely afternoon and at the end they served onion bhajis and biryani to all the attendees. There was a creche for children so the mothers could also relax and listen to the talks without having to worry about their children getting bored.

I wish I had more time to speak about the topic as I had so much to say, but overall it was a brilliant initiative by the Dallow community to cater the needs of the people and address the important topic of mental wellbeing!

Top tips for Muslim community members:

  • Be kind to yourself and each other.
  • Be free from tyranny and speak up against injustices towards yourself or others around you.
  • Help is out there, don’t feel shy to seek it. Allah wants you to look after yourself.

Feedback by organiser:

“JazakAllah khair for your talk and all your help. Honestly, we were all very blessed to have your presence at the event. Your story meant a lot!”

Feedback by attendees:

“I really enjoyed the talk, Warisa covered many areas related to the topic and made it very interesting to listen to with great advice offered. She addressed the service you provide with a mixture of her personal experience so that the audience can relate, as well as assuring them that help and support is available to them.”

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 and talks. Please visit our vacancies page for more information.

Warisa Hussain

Warisa is an Islamic studies graduate, who holds an MA in Clinical Psychology and MSc in Child, Adolescent & Family Mental Health. She is quite passionate about contributing to positive change, human rights, social justice and women empowerment. With over 10 years of experience in working in the charity sector and providing vulnerable people support to refugees, IDP’s, Victims & survivors of domestic abuse, traumatized children/young people and victims of war /conflict; Warisa would like to provide psychosocial support to the most vulnerable members of the Muslim community. She is particularly interested in spiritual Psychology and the Islamic perspective on mental health. In her spare time, she loves traveling and volunteering.

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