The Mindful Muslim is an Inspirited Minds podcast that hosts raw, open, and honest conversations on various topics within the sphere of mental health, psychology, Islam and spirituality.

This episode sees Hanif Bobat discuss his lived experiences of mental illness and the work he has done to address mental health stigma. Hanif currently works as a Development Manager with Ethnic Health Forum, a welfare and support bureau who offers their services in Arabic, Kurdish and Urdu. He has over the past 20 years contributed his experiences as a survivor/service user on a number of local and national platforms promoting the positive aspects of managing and surviving his manic depression/ psychotic episode. He has served on National Advisory Boards at the Department Of Health on the NIMHE Programme SHIFT, which was a national campaign to tackle stigma around mental illness.

He contributed to research at the Mental Health Foundation on the benefits of attending Mosque as a therapeutic and spiritual way to connect with others and our Creator. The research can be accessed here. He was also involved in organising conferences on Race/Culture and Mental Health in the years 2005-2011, which included promoting the concept of Islamic Psychology to a wider audience.

He explores the following in this episode:

  • His experience of being diagnosed with Cannabis-induced psychosis and mania, as well as seeking Lithium treatment
  • How important it is to have a good support network around you when it comes to mental health, including parents, family and friends
  • The stigma associated with the term mental illness, and how to be more inclusive with the words we use for psychological health
  • What helped during his recovery from psychosis, mania and depression The power of gratitude, reflection and group therapy on dealing with mental illness
  • How he made a career out of his lived experience and the welfare services provided by Ethnic Health Forum (EHF) to communities settling in Manchester from abroad, including refugees
  • He also speaks about EHF’s women-related projects, promoting equality and diversity within the health and welfare sector

You can contact Hanif at 07957 317707 or via email at hanif@ethnichealth.org.uk. You can also find out more about the Ethnic Health Forum and the services they provide on their website: www.ethnichealth.org.uk.

If you would like to ask us a question, suggest a topic you would like us to discuss on the podcast or if you would like to feature on the podcast as a guest, then please get in touch with the Mindful Muslim Podcast Team at podcast@inspiritedminds.org.uk.

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Sivan Kader

Sivan Kader

Sivan is a Biomedical Sciences and Clinical Neuroscience graduate from Queen Mary, University of London and King’s College London. She hopes to combine her learning from personal experience with mental illness, with the passion to drive positive change, to ultimately empower others to take care of their mental wellbeing. With a background in research, and having worked with a social enterprise, she has joined Inspirited Minds to help shed light on mental health stigma in the Muslim community, in particular, and work towards encouraging dialogue, empathy, and compassion.

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