Farhana currently works as an assistant psychologist in a Psychology and a BME access service. She works alongside Qualified Clinical Psychologists and co-facilitates workshops on Islamic Psychology and understanding the self, and groups about trauma in both Bengali and English. Farhana has applied her learnings from the trainings she has undertaken: Motivational Interviewing, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Youth and Adult Mental Health and First Aid. She has worked within the mental health field since 2012. She has experience working in an NHS community mental health service where she provided short term psychological work to those with chronic and complex mental health difficulties within the community. She also had experience working in an inpatient psychiatric hospitals in the NHS where she provided therapy to those in crisis and acutely unwell. She is 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 has also worked as a research assistant in a number of service development projects. Her special interests lie in developing one’s self-awareness, acceptance and self-compassion. She is 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 wants to empower them to look at themselves and others as humans, steering away from labels and recognizing and appreciating 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. She believes we should all start valuing and openly talk about our mental health like we do with our physical health.
Sadia is a Trainee Psychologist who completed her masters in Health Psychology. She is passionate about being involved with international development projects and has been away to Zimbabwe, India and Calais, France where she held workshops to encourage positive healthy behaviour. Sadia has held sessions with children, adults and refugees on mental health, HIV/aids, malaria, typhoid, hygiene, gender base violence and has also taught English on various occasions. Moreover, she regularly holds projects in her local town for homeless individuals and believes in minimising social exclusion. Sadia is particularly interested in tackling mental health issues within the Asian community as well as the broader aspect. The way mental health is discussed in relation to Asian Males is of her interest. Furthermore, she has also carried out research study (MSc) on the impact of tragic events (such as 9/11) on Muslims mental wellbeing. The study was done in order to look at how the negative events impacts Muslims coping skills. She is keen on doing further PHD research on Refugees and Muslims mental & physical health. In her pastime Sadia enjoys nature & scenic walks, drawing & sketching, playing badminton & archery. She holds a GB Archery instructor qualification! For the future, Sadia hopes (in sha Allah) to qualify as a Health Psychologist and work with vulnerable communities in the UK as well as the international development field.
Abutaher graduated from the Institute of Islamic Education as a scholar in Islamic theology and Jurisprudence. He has particular strengths in communication and interfaith dialogue and sees his main strengths as adaptability, dependability and self-motivation. He furthered his studies by attending the Cambridge Muslim College and completing my Diploma in Contextual Islamic Studies and Leadership. The course enabled him to delve into various subjects including psychology and Islamic counselling. He is currently completing his thesis for his MA in Islamic studies at SOAS University. His passion is to be of assistance to people and he believes one of the ways is through the service offered by Inspirited Minds. He is fortunate to have studied Islam for a considerable period of time and this has given him a better understanding of how best to approach issues with Muslim communities.
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.
University and Schools Lead
Khudaija has been working in the field of mental health for over 5 years, she graduated with a degree in Psychology in 2013 and since then has had a keen interest and passion for supporting people with mental health difficulties. Her experience ranges from working on the mental health inpatient unit, to therapeutic work for individuals with various disorders. She has previously been involved in hosting a radio show in aid of spreading awareness of mental health within the Muslim Community and attempting to rid the community of the taboo associated with mental health. She aspires to continue to do such work to alleviate the stigma attached to mental health in our community.
Amne El Abdallah
Amné is currently a medical student at UCL and previous BSc graduate of Biomedical sciences as well as an active humanitarian. She currently works with various NGOs around Europe and Middle East to try and make a difference in the lives of those who are less fortunate and victims of war, especially young children and mothers. As part of her voluntary work she raises awareness of mental health in war survivors and has previously been part of projects that have helped refugees overcome the effects that war has had on their mental health by creating activities to remove the negative stigma associated with mental health and getting them to open up about their feelings. She is very passionate about making a difference so that the world is a better and safer place for future generations and hopes to specialise in psychiatrics upon completion of her medical studies. The Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) once said that kindness is a mark of faith and she tries to live by this and spread kindness wherever she goes. In her spare time, she loves reading, creative writing, learning languages, playing football and volunteering.
Zaynab is an entrepreneur who created magnetic Arabic Letters. She has a keen interest in mental health and has worked extensively in outreach over the last six years, designing workshops on topics such as depression, body image, self-esteem, how to prepare for exams and Ramadan for schools, mosques and universities.
Sumaiya is a graduate of Psychology and currently studying a Masters in Forensic Mental Health, with a thesis focusing of relationship between mental health and radicalisation amongst Muslims. She has experience working with children from underprivileged backgrounds, a common risk factor for mental disorders. Additionally, she has worked alongside patients suffering from learning disabilities as well as other major mental disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorders and depression. She is passionate about making a change in the Muslim community in regards to mental health and the stigma that comes with it. This includes changing perceptions and views of those who are related or not related to patients suffering with mental disorders within the forensic setting. Research has shown that Muslims leaving forensic settings are shunned by the community and therefore, do not get the help they need, increasing the chances of reoffending. With Inspirited Minds, she hopes to gain the platform to reach and change the perceptions of the Muslim community in regards to those suffering from mental disorders, especially within the forensic settings, if God wills.
North England Outreach Lead
Anas is an Economics graduate from the University of Birmingham, seeking a career in International Development and currently working in the Muslim Charity Sector. Anas has a passion to encourage greater access to support for those going through mental health distress, for example, he created and led the Welfare Project for his University ISoc. He believes in the power of building relations in the community to make positive changes and has developed this skill having taken part in Community Leadership Training delivered by Citizens UK.
Ferzana holds a BSc in Psychology with Sociology and a BA in Islamic Theology and the Arabic Language. She has previously worked with children and young adults in a number of Islamic establishments in East London. Whilst serving as a Year 6 Primary School Teacher, in addition to delivering outstanding results, Ferzana maintained an adjunct Head of Science and Head of Numeracy role for two years as well as provided Pastoral care to both Primary and Secondary students. In 2017, she started her MSc in Health Psychology at City University of London. Her thesis focused on the exploration of UK Muslim beliefs about organ donation and their relationship with behavioural intentions and joining the organ donor register. She was awarded her MSc in 2019.
Sehar is currently completing her final year of Psychology BSc, with a specific interest in postnatal depression. She looks forward to taking this further in Clinical Psychology. She is very cosmopolitan having lived in Pakistan, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi. She is a Research Assistant for the University of East Anglia where she codes and runs studies upon children and early word learning. She also works for MIND as a Recovery Coach where she supports clients with severe mental illness into recovering and becoming independent. On the side, she also works for the A&E Lesion at Mind for clients who need support with mental health. She also has a history of previously working as a support worker for Affinity Trust with individuals who have learning disabilities and challenging behaviours. Sehar is passionate about research in mental health following off from her final year university project being upon Schizophrenia, autism, theory of mind and negative/empathy bias. She looks forward to investigating mental health experience in the community and how it can be improved.
Saba Ikhlas Malik
Saba-Ikhlas is a medical student studying in London. She is keen to promote the idea that positive mental wellbeing is the key to a successful life! She is passionate about removing the stigma we often have towards our own mental health, and believes that this puts us in the best position to help others. Saba-Ikhlas is particularly interested in working with young people at this critical and often unsupported age of development. In her spare time she enjoys creative writing, photography and horse riding as reflective outlets and as tools for self-development.
Kiren is a psychology graduate from City, University of London and is currently working as a pharmacy assistant. Kiren has previously worked as a youth leader in charities aiming to help refugees and migrants and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. She hopes to work within research in the future with a keen interest in the neuroscience of psychology. Kiren will set out to complete a MSc in Neuroscience in 2020.
Sumaya is a psychology graduate who is passionate about helping those around her from all walks of life. She has worked as a Tutor and Well-being Mentor for vulnerable children and sixth form students facing a variety of adversities, including learning difficulties, mental health issues and family problems. She is particularly interested in understanding the mental health stigmas faced in the Muslim community and tackling these misconceptions to improve mental health awareness and treatment accessibility. It can be noted that in the Muslim community, symptoms of depression or anxiety are often attributed to “low imaan”, completely disregarding and often contributing to other very real and serious issues individuals may face. Inspirited Minds is one of the few organisations that challenges such stigmas and provides faith-sensitive, non-judgmental support to those in need of it. Consequently, through working with Inspirited Minds, Sumaya hopes to be a part of the positive change desperately needed within the Muslim community in breaking barriers and misconceptions.
Neelam graduated with a degree in Global Health BSc in 2018 where her epidemiology paper on gender inequalities and health was published by the British Medical Journal and received a first-class in her dissertation which was a governorate level analysis of the political determinants of the cholera crisis in Yemen from April 2017-April 2018. Further to this, she is set to graduate from her MSc at LSHTM in Control of Infectious Diseases where she spent 3 months in the Volta Region in Ghana working on her thesis about the socioeconomic determinants of malaria and severe malaria in the Volta Regional Hospital. She has worked on ecological and case-control research studies with experience in qualitative and quantitative methods. She is currently working as a research and strategic development specialist in health and biomedicine journals for a start-up publishing company called Frontiers as well as a team assistant for the NHSBT. She has experience working with Mind, The Cystic Fibrosis Trust, Chatham House and Global Brigades as a passionate global health advocate. Apart from this, Neelam enjoys travelling, videography, poetry and art. She is passionate about the need for more appropriate and focused mental health research, specifically in Muslim communities.