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 Developer at a digital healthtech company. 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.

Professor Abdur Rasjid Skinner

Advisory Board Member

Professor Abdur Rasjid Skinner is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Jungian Psychotherapist with over 40 years experience of dealing with a variety of psychological problems. He is a Chartered Psychologist and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society. He has worked with others over many years developing the clinical application of an Islamic understanding of the Self. He is a Visiting Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Karachi. He teaches at the Cambridge Muslim College and is a visiting lecturer on the Clinical Psychology course at The University of Sheffield. He has presented at numerous conferences nationally and internationally on Islamic Psychology.
Publications:
Skinner, R. (2010). An Islamic approach to psychology and mental health. Mental Health, Religion and Culture.13(6), 547-551.
Kaplick, P. and Skinner, R. (2017). The evolving Islam and psychology movement. European Psychologist. 22(3), 198-204.
Skinner, R. and Kaplick, P. (2017). Cultural shift in mental illness: a comparison of stress responses in World War 1 and the Vietnam war. J. Royal Soc. Of Medicine Open. 8(12), 1-5.
Skinner, R. ((1989) 2018), Traditions, paradigms and basic concepts in Islamic psychology. J.Relig. Health.

Dr Ahmed Hankir

Advisory Board Member

Dr Ahmed Hankir is Senior Research Fellow of the Bedfordshire Centre for Mental Health in association with Cambridge University and Specialty Trainee in Psychiatry with Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. Dr Hankir’s research interests include global mental health, Muslim mental health and pioneering and evaluating innovative programmes that challenge mental health related stigma and Islamophobia. Dr Hankir was former Chair of the Muslim Engagement and Development Leeds Working Group. Dr Hankir was headhunted by senior members of the American Psychiatric Association to co-edit the first textbook of its kind on Islamophobia and Psychiatry with Professor Rania Awaad at Stanford University who presented her research on Muslim mental health to former President of the United States of America Barack Obama at the White House (due for publication by Springer USA in December 2018). Dr Hankir is the author of the Wounded Healer programme which is an innovative method of teaching that blends the performing arts with psychiatry. The Wounded Healer has been integrated into the medical school curriculum of four UK universities and has been adapted into a documentary by film makers from the London College of Communication and screened at the World Psychiatric Association World Congress in Berlin. Dr Hankir has presented the Wounded Healer to over 65,000 people in 13 countries on five continents throughout the globe and has delivered keynote addresses with Nobel Prize Laureates and Ted speakers in international conferences worldwide. Dr Hankir has worked extensively with university Islamic societies throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland. In 2017 Dr Hankir helped to organize the first ever Muslim mental health conference in Ireland. Dr Hankir collaborated with the Federation of Student Islamic Societies and conducted the first ever intervention study to challenge mental health related stigma in the Muslim community (the FOSIS Birmingham and Dublin studies). Dr Hankir is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards including the 2013 Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPsych) Foundation Doctor of the Year, the 2017 RCPsych Morris Markowe Prize and he has been shortlisted for the RCPsych Core Trainee of the Year (winner to be announced in November 2018). Dr Hankir was twice shortlisted for the RCPsych Psychiatric Communicator of the Year for his work on the Wounded Healer project. In recognition of his services to academic psychiatry, Dr Ahmed Hankir was appointed Yvonne YuRichco Professor of Psychiatry at the Carrick Institute for Graduate Studies in Cape Canaveral, USA.

Sheikh Saeed Nasser

Advisory Board Member

Sheikh Saeed Nasser was born in Yemen and came to the UK at the age of 13. He lost his sight when he was 2 years old and was educated in the UK and works as an integrative counsellor and a clinical supervisor in private practice. He has previously worked for the NHS as a member of a psychotherapy team dealing with trauma, anxiety and depression. He is also a bereavement counsellor volunteering for Cruse Bereavement Service for the last 5 years. For the last 17 years he has worked as the interpreter and translator in the Social Services Department of Sandwell Council. He is a founding member of the Yemeni Community Association in Sandwell, which is one of the leading Yemeni community organisations in the UK. He chairs its cultural centre and volunteers as an Imam in the mosque which is a centre that delivers religious, spiritual, educational, cohesion and community activities for all members of the local community. He sits on a number of boards and committees in his local area. Finally, he has links with schools and organisations for people experiencing sight loss in Yemen and through the Yemeni Community Association helps to raise money to help blind children with their education.

Atallah FitzGibbon

Advisory Board Member

After 12 years of working in the voluntary and public sector in the UK followed by 23 years experience in humanitarian aid work, Atallah has worked at senior management and director level managing international programmes, spearheading organisational and performance improvement and leading on strategy and policy development. At Islamic Relief Worldwide, Atallah has worked as Programmes Director, Performance Improvement Manager, Head of Policy & Strategy and is now their Faith Partnerships Advisor. Within this role Atallah is involved in supporting research and programming addressing the psychosocial needs of disaster survivors and forced migrants. In addition to his work at IRW and being on the advisory board at Inspirited Minds, Atallah is director of Reflection Network, an agency that provides cultural awareness training and trains Muslim communities on engaging with other communities using the various resources that have been developed, including a course on Spirituality in Islam. Atallah is also a board member of the Joint Learning Initiative on faith and Local Communities (JLI) and Chair of the Zawiya Trust in Birmingham which manages a range of community based activities for youth and adults. Atallah has led the development of Islamic Relief’s last two global strategies between 2009-21, leading on the drive to improve faith literacy and localisation within IRW’s work and the development of IRW’s conceptual framework and theory of change on human development. As Global Advocacy Manager Atallah also focussed heavily on refugee protection and co-chair’s the JLI Learning Hub on Forced Migration. IRW also has strong advocacy priorities on gender justice, climate and change.

Shafeek Caunhye

Advisory Board Member

Shafeek is a graduate in Management and Psychology with over a decade experience working in Psychiatry. His experience includes acute inpatient care, outpatient care and addictions therapy with management experience in the turn around of large established healthcare organisations and start up of new clinics nationally. He is passionate about Mental Health and youth development.

Aisha Akhtar

Advisory Board Member

Aisha qualified as a Solicitor in 2009 and has practiced Litigation and Social Housing since. She has worked for local authorities in Manchester and the Midlands and has spent 7 years at a private law firm in West London. She currently works in-house at Network Homes in Wembley. She has a keen interest in the mental health field developed from her work in social housing and believes there should be no barrier to people being able to access help and wants to help eradicate stigma attached to mental illness. She enjoys travelling, is an avid reader and practices regular meditation.

Rehanah Sadiq

Advisory Board Member

Saghar Roya

Advisory Board Member

Saghar is a qualified solicitor and a Partner in the City law firm, Devonshires Solicitors. She works within the field of Property Finance and specialises in Social Housing Finance, an area where she is recognised as a Tier 1 practitioner in the Legal 500. As part of her role, Saghar helps social housing providers attain the necessary funding required to build more affordable homes nationally in order to address the shortfall of affordable homes for those in most need. Saghar is of Afghan ethnicity and came to the UK at the age of 5, a fundamental element which has helped her grasp and understand the cultural and social challenges that are present in society. Saghar is a current volunteer with Mobile Minds and has previously volunteered with many charities and non-profit organisations, including Childline and TimeBank. Saghar is passionate about helping others and firmly believes that a community cannot progress together if it does not understand the societal challenges they face individually and collectively.

Rofu Miah

Advisory Board Member

Rofu is a Chartered Certified Accountant working in the City as a Group Tax Analyst for a FTSE 100 Company. He has a Bachelors (Hons) degree in Accounting & Finance and has been working his way up the career ladder from a grassroot level. His line of experience includes working and volunteering with Charities & Social Enterprises across East London; particularly with young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. He is very passionate about promoting mental health wellbeing and aims to achieve this with his tenure at Inspirited Minds.

Nureen Tayyabah

Advisory Board Member

Nureen has completed studying a 6-year Alimiyyah Course at an Islamic seminary, graduating in 2015. Since then, she has been teaching various subjects of the Islamic sciences at institutes based in Birmingham and online. She launched her own organisation in 2019 named TAVi – The Amatullah Vision – aiming to help women reconnect with their faith. She lectures at various seminars organised for the public and holds classes teaching Arabic Grammar from a syllabus designed by herself. She is currently completing a Masters in Islamic Education at the University of Warwick, whilst working in the Orphans and Childcare Department at a charity based in Birmingham. She has a keen interest in making Qur’anic Arabic studies accessible and engaging for all and a great passion to help others.

Ayub Seedat

Advisory Board Member

Ayub is a digital marketing, fundraising and operations consultant with over a decade of experience in the charity/non-profit sector.

Nuzhat Ali

Advisory Board Member

Tanveen Choudhury

Advisory Board Member

Tanveen is an accredited Psychotherapist by profession with most of her experience has been in NHS psychology services and the private sector over the last 9 years. She believes the work of Inspirited Minds is really important as it bridges gaps in mental health provision for people of the Muslim faith. Idiosyncratic therapies and services are a really important part of improving mental health and she hopes that Inspirited Minds will develop into a leader in this area and become an even better resource for mental health professionals locally and globally.

Safiyah Khan

Counselling & Support Manager

Safiyah is a Qualified Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner, with a Masters in Psychological Therapies, she has several years of experience with working within the mental health field in the NHS. She has spent three years working within a mental health inpatient unit for young people who suffered from a range of mental health issues, from eating disorders to psychosis. She offered them support within this role in their moments of crisis and helped carry out group therapy. She also has experience working with adults within the community, providing Low-Intensity Cognitive Behavioural Therapy as a way of managing their low mood and anxiety by teaching them skills and methods of overcoming these difficulties. Safiyah has always been passionate about trying to encourage conversations around mental health within the Islamic and BAME to try and reduce the stigma around it, to allow for those who are suffering to get the support they may need. While working in the NHS she has engaged with local community faith leaders and carried out presentations about mental health to the community to try and increase people’s understanding, also creating a space for discussion to be able to allow people to see the perspective of other individuals. She hopes to continue to help this cause within her role at Inspirited Minds.

Dr Merih Fidan

Senior Counsellor

Dr. Merih has been a Psychologist since 1992. She undertook her Undergraduate and Masters degrees in Turkey in Psychology, and Masters and PhD degrees in research and counselling in the UK. She has been running her private counselling practice, offering emotional help and guidance, using Cognitive & Behavioural, Integrative and Islamic Counselling approaches. She also has been working as a lecturer and research supervisor in the University of Leicester. Her hobbies include reading, travelling, cooking and charitable work. She loves working with and towards communities, especially empowering women, and understanding men better. She is a member of British Psychological Society, British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapies, Turkish Psychological Society and Muslim Counsellor and Psychotherapist Network.

Ansa Ahmed

Counsellor

Ansa is a qualified counselling therapist, who offers a safe and confidential space to explore your issues and work towards understanding yourself and others in relation to you. She values the courage it takes to reach out and ask for help when you need it, therefore as a client of hers you can expect to be welcomed warmly and accepted fully with whatever you wish to bring to therapy. You will work together at your pace and comfort to ensure you feel safe to move forward and explore your thoughts and feelings to come to solutions best for you – found within and from you. She sees individual clients and couples with a range of issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship issues, self-esteem and confidence problems. She is particularly experienced at working with loss and bereavement and has her own private practice which delivers training and support groups for mental health and wellbeing to professional organisations and people who have experienced miscarriages and /or infant loss. She is also fluent in many languages including English, Urdu, Punjabi, Pahari, Mirpuri, Hindi.

Sandra Ortiz

Counsellor

Sandra is a Senior Psychotherapist and an Islamic Counsellor with experience working with children, adolescents and adults of diverse cultural and faith backgrounds. She graduated with a BSc Psychology Counselling and Therapies and is currently undertaking a master’s in health psychology. Sandra has been a counsellor since 2016 and is an active member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy and holds a graduate membership with the British Psychological Society. Sandra works therapeutically with the Islamic Counselling model which enables clients to experience a person centre approach exploring their sense of Self from a wider therapeutic spectrum which includes their spiritual reality. She also works with an integrative approach as well as specific evidence based psychological techniques depending on the client’s circumstances and presenting issues. Sandra is passionate about working with an awareness of the diversity of culture and spirituality in the provision of mental health services. She is originally from Mexico and her close family is of a mixed and multicultural background. Sandra is enthusiastic about the holistic approach into physical, psychological and spiritual well-being. Sandra has worked with anxiety disorders, depression, PTSD, domestic abuse and violence, child sexual abuse, abandonment, bereavement; she has worked with people of diverse cultural backgrounds. Besides English, she can provide therapy in Spanish.

Syeda Haque

Counsellor

Syeda has been working as a therapist since 2005 and is an accredited Person Centred Counsellor. She has keen interest in attachment focus theory which looks at our early relationship which she believes can be the foundation of how we form relationships in adult life. She is also trained in CFD counselling for depression as part of the IAPT model based on PC and emotional focus with Metanoia Institute, CBT and attachment focus therapy which she integrates within her practice to help clients focus on particular areas. Syeda has particularly expertise and experience in dealing with ra ange of mental health issues including chronic depression, bereavement, domestic abuse, relationship, family issues and particularly childhood trauma. She believes that every person’s experience is unique and they have the capacity to grew and as a therapist she offers a safe confidential space, acceptance and trust of the therapeutic process by offering an empathic and non-judgmental approach. Syeda has vast experience of working within the NHS, charity and voluntary sectors, within multicultural settings and has a good understanding of cultural and religious sensitivity. Over the years Syeda has gained experience of working briefly and long term basis. Syeda is able speak fluent English, Bengali and Hindi.

Adisah Azumah

Counsellor

Adisah is a BACP qualified counsellor who is also a key worker with NHS where she uses her skills to promote patient safety and recovery in the psychiatric ward. She provides person centred counselling as well as Islamic perspective counselling for people with mild to moderate mental health diagnosis. She has worked with reputable charities such as Place2be where she was the School Project Manager for a couple of schools. At this post she accomplished delivering the services and increasing access to psychological/emotional support for all pupil with increased access by BAME pupils. In working with her you can expect transparency, compassion and integrity and she also enjoys having a laugh and letting her kinky hair down.

Muslimah Miah

Counsellor

Muslimah has a passion for supporting individuals to improve their mental health wellbeing. This is she why she has dedicated herself to understanding the core values of counselling, leading her to achieve a BA Hons in Psychology and Counselling, an FDA in Integrative Counselling, and an MSC in Mental Health science. As a qualified Counsellor, she has over 10 years of experience of incorporating and implementing tailered therapies, to help her clients move forward. The foundation of her work is built on Islamic principles, assimilating faith based practices into the therapeutic process. Trained in Islamic psychology, and a member of international association of Islamic Psychology, her aim is to bring people closer to the fitrah of Allah. Muslimah specialises in bereavement care and is a recognised professional for foundation infants loss.

Azmara Moulana

CBT Therapist

Azmara is a BABCP accredited Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist and the former BAME Lead at a primary care psychology service in London. She completed her training at Royal Holloway University of London and is a recognised Alumna at the University of Westminster. Azmara specialises in trauma related psychotherapy. With experience of working with trauma survivors and having a compassionate and non-judgemental approach, her interest lies in working with ethnic minorities and raising mental health awareness in Muslim communities to challenge stigma and support individuals and their families to improve their well-being.

Ahmed Tomal

Counsellor

Ahmed is a BACP registered Counsellor. He has an Integrative Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling. He specialises in working with people to overcome their anger, anxiety and stress. He facilitates personal development through self exploration and believes that the way we relate to the world as adults, is impacted by the way we experienced the world as children. He welcomes, enjoys and has experience in working with people from all walks of life. He is qualified and trained in supporting people with a variety of mental health and relationship issues through counselling therapy.

Rujia Rahman

Counsellor

Rujia is a qualified person-centred counsellor/therapist with wide-ranging experience working with adults and young people from diverse backgrounds. As a person-centred counsellor, a key feature of therapy for her is to build a good therapeutic relationship, which helps clients to open up and talk about the difficulties they are experiencing and to help them connect with themselves. Sometimes it is a struggle for us to understand our own difficult and painful emotions or experiences. What we need is to have someone listen to us with openness and acceptance. Someone we can share our thoughts, feelings and experiences with, without fear of rejection, criticism or disapproval but with empathy and understanding. The relationship between a client and their therapist is crucial in how a client experiences therapy. Rujia offers a safe space for clients to discuss their thoughts and feelings, in a confidential and non-judgemental manner. She works at her client’s pace and only explores issues her clients are ready to explore. By being listened to and supported, clients are able to gain a greater understanding of themselves and this helps them to realise they have the resources within themselves to cope with the challenges they are facing. She believes that helping people to help themselves is essential to her role. She has experience working with clients on a range of issues including stress, anxiety and depression; trauma; sexual, physical, emotional and financial abuse; self-harm; loss and bereavement; discrimination; identity issues; substance misuse; and relationship issues. She has experience of CBT and also working with clients within a systemic setting thereby not only working with clients on the individual level, but also as people in relationships, dealing with the interactions of groups and their interactional patterns and dynamics. Having worked with clients from diverse backgrounds has also given her a greater understanding of the influence of cultural issues on us as individuals, and she is able to incorporate this into her work with clients.

Aysha Ali

Counsellor

Aysha Ali is a graduate of Journalism, Film and Broadcasting. She has worked with asylum seekers, within race equality and has been working in domestic abuse for the last 16 years for a challenging and diverse borough in Central London. Qualifying in 2016 as an Integrative Counsellor Aysha approaches her work with flexibility and responds to the distinct personal situation of each client, tailoring the work to their unique needs and preferences. She is fluent in Bengali (Sylheti) and can understand and speak basic Urdu and Hindi. Aysha is a registered member of BACP, she has completed a Certificate in Islamic Psychology, and is currently studying Level 2 in Islamic Counselling and Psychology. When she’s not working in her two roles, you can find her cooking up a feast for her friends and family or answering the question “why” for the eleventy-billionth time to her brood.

Nasro Warsame

Counsellor

Nasra is an integratively trained counsellor. Working from this approach allows her to work with a diverse client population with a variety of presenting issues. She divides her time between part-time counselling at various agencies and working in private practice. She believes that each individual is unique and has the potential to find the answers they are looking for within themselves. She provides a warm, genuine, honest and empathic space where you can explore your thoughts and feelings without judgement. Nasra is a registered member of the BACP which means she abides by their professional ethics and codes of conduct.

Urfana Ayub

Counsellor

Urfana is a BACP registered Counsellor. She understands sometimes it can be hard to find the reasons behind the pain we feel and she believes “All we need is Sakoon”. Sometimes in our life, we have to go through hardships, damage, loss, pain, tests, betrayal, misunderstanding, mistrust and search for the needed
“Sakoon”(peace). Urfana is a qualified and registered Social Worker and Counsellor. She is an Author, Speaker, Teacher, Student, Trainer, and qualified Interpreter and Translator  (Law/Health). She has over 20 years of experience of working in different settings in her different roles. Besides English, she offers therapy in Urdu, Punjabi, Hindi, Mirpuri, Hinko and Pothwari. She has the experience of working with diverse cultural and faith backgrounds. She offers a warm, safe and private space to explore how you are feeling. At the heart of her work with clients is the relationship that she builds with them. She has the natural ability to connect with people and their pain. She has a caring and empathic nature and understands the courage of individuals to make the decision to seek support. She aims to support clients to heal and find their answers through therapy and live their life to their full potential.

Shereena Begum

Counsellor

Shereena is a certified and qualified level 7 relational integrative Counsellor and Psychotherapist and is a registered member of the BACP. She is a warm and empathetic professional with a natural person-centred approach and understands the importance of accepting people for who they are. She aspired to become a counsellor to help individuals and to raise awareness about mental health in different communities. She felt and saw the scarcity of counsellors from ethnic minority and religious groups. Being a British born, South Asian, Muslim female, gave her the opportunity to understand and be aware of the difficulties of not being understood due to the cultural differences, barriers, and culture clash. She sympathises with the disharmony this can have on emotional and mental health. She works with various counselling services and has experience working with anxiety & stress, relationship issues, complex family Issues, bereavement & Loss, depression & low mood, low self-esteem, trauma, sexual violence, health issues, panic attacks, self-harm, domestic abuse, culture clash/culture confusion/culture Barriers. Shereena is trilingual, she can speak and communicate in English, Bengali, and Urdu.

Sophia Khan

Counsellor

Sophia is an integrative counsellor who combines different approaches to work with a range of mental health issues. She applies her natural warmth and empathy to build solid therapeutic relationships with her clients to help them feel heard and understood while enabling them to understand themselves and their experiences better and to move forward in life. Sophia has experience working with a range of issues including trauma, domestic abuse, PTSD, bereavement, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and attachment. She is a registered member of the British Association for Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP). Sophia is passionate about raising awareness of mental health issues in the Muslim community and providing faith and culturally sensitive counselling service to those most in need.

Sameena Ahmed

Counsellor

Sameena has been a qualified counsellor since 2014 working with agencies specialising in bereavement, adolescents and university students. She has her own private practice working with female clients of all ages and a variety of issues. Sameena offers an integrative form of counselling to help clients with their issues and on their journey of self-discovery using Person Centred (working with the here and now), Psychodynamic (exploring unconscious processes developed since childhood) and CBT (looking at the relationship between thoughts, feelings and behaviours).

Meena Pervez

Counsellor

Meena is a BACP registered Person-Centred counsellor. She completed her diploma in 2016 and had since worked in a range of settings, including Rape Crisis and Cruse Bereavement, as well as providing a counselling service in her local mosque. Her most recent experience is working within the NHS. Meena works collaboratively and relationally with individuals, providing them with a safe and non-judgemental space to work through their difficulties, also giving them the opportunity to understand their situation from an Islamic perspective. She is passionate about supporting people’s mental health and understanding their struggles primarily through their lived experiences.

Saiyeda Ravalia

Counsellor

Nadir Khan

Counsellor

Nadir is a Family & Systemic Psychotherapist accredited by the UK Council for Psychotherapy and a member of the Association of Family Therapy. He holds an MSc with merit in Systemic Psychotherapy from the Institute of Family Therapy in London. He has over 8 years of experience working in inpatient, outpatient, residential, criminal justice, children’s social care as well as NHS community CAMHS settings supporting both adults and young people and their families. He specialise in working with young people, adults and their families regarding a variety of issues such as mental health conditions, major life events such as divorce and bereavement, family conflict, trauma, migration, culture and faith etc.  His clients know him for my warmth and understanding, whether they are talking about something positive, painful or difficult, and the sense that whatever they say, he appreciates their humanity and their intentions. Family therapy seeks to treat the family as a whole rather than just one individual, although they can also work systemically with individuals. Systemic therapists believe that relationship problems are usually best treated within those relationships. This often means working with individuals, couples or all members of the family or household together. During the therapeutic process, he explores clients’ views and relationships to better understand the problems they are experiencing. This approach helps family members to communicate better with each other. It can help families to change, develop, resolve conflict and promote intimacy.

Ibtissem Amiour

Counsellor

Ibtissem is a qualified Integrative Counsellor with a First Class, Honours Degree in Psychology. She is a registered member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), therefore she abides by the BACP’s Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions. She believes that her degree in Psychology (accredited by the BPS), as well as her Diploma in Integrative therapeutic counselling (accredited by the BACP), have offered her excellent knowledge of therapeutic interventions and theories. Similarly, she is trained to work with spiritual models such as the Islamic model of counselling. She believes that her ability to utilise and understand different modalities such as the Humanistic, Psychodynamic and Cognitive- Behavioural approaches to therapy have empowered her to work successfully with a range of various presenting issues and adapt to the client’s needs.

Salma Khanom

Counsellor

Salma is a BACP accredited counsellor and clinical supervisor with vast experience of working in domestic abuse and sexual violence since 2007. Her core training is in the integrative model and since qualifying she has further trained in CBT, Counselling for Depression and EMDR. She is flexible in her approach drawing techniques and skills from her training, recognising the need to be adaptable to meet the clients changing needs. She has experience of working with common mental health conditions including: depression, anxiety and stress. She has been working with client suffering from childhood sexual abuse and rape, particularly in men. She is passionate about increasing awareness and conversations around mental health in the community to help combat the stigma people suffer and normalise seeking help. She has experience of working in the charity sector and NHS within a primary care service. Salma specialises in working with the BAME community and delivering psychological help in a south Asian language.

Shazna Hamid

Counsellor

Shazna is an BACP registered member. She is an experienced Integrative Counsellor, with a heart to empower you, to be the best you can be. She gives high importance in forming a trusting therapeutic alliance with her clients. Shazna believes therapy can be a turning point in ones life. She uses clinically proven techniques to help individuals improve their Mental Health/manage anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, intrusive thoughts and others. She is currently working with reputable charity Place2be and has years of experience in working with victims of Domestic Violence. She provides a safe non-judgemental space to explore any difficulties you may bring and assures confidentiality. She aims to support you explore your needs and to work together to better manage your feelings and finding your authentic self. Shazna is able to speak fluent English, Bengali, Sylheti, Hindi and Urdu.

Riana Abbas

Counsellor

Riana is qualified in Person-Centred Counselling and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. She is a member of the BACP. Riana has over 10 years experience of in Counselling, mostly in the BAME Community. Riana acknowledges and respects that individuals have unique characteristics and personal experiences. There are times in our lives when we are feeling positive and enjoying life. There are also difficult periods when we are depressed, anxious and confused as to who we are and what we want. Riana offers you the opportunity to share your thoughts/feelings in a safe and confidential environment, to be able to gain insight into “what is happening to me? Why am I feeling this way?” Riana believes counselling is a professional relationship based on trust and confidentiality between the counsellor and the client. It takes courage and strength to reach out to someone and ask for help, this trust (Amanah) is something Riana holds in very high regard. Riana offers support in helping the client to develop and trust in their own healing process, to enable them to explore hidden feelings, to gain insight and understanding and be able to face the issues without fear of being judged.

Sadia Noreen

CBT Therapist

Sadia is a BABCP accredited Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist and works within the NHS seeing people with depression and anxiety disorders, as well as, low self esteem. She specialises in trauma related psychotherapy, particularly with pregnant and postnatal women. Sadia also has a keen interest in humanitarian work and enjoys working with refugees and asylum seekers to help them integrate safely into a new community. Raising mental health awareness in Muslim communities to challenge stigma and support individuals and their families is incredibly important to her. As such, she is currently undergoing training in Islamic Psychology and believes working with a person’s spirituality is vital in therapy, in order to deepen our connection with Allah and heal holistically. With Sadia, you can expect a transparent, compassionate and non-judgemental approach.

Sabah Banares

Clinical Support Worker

Sabah is a graduate in Psychology, Sociology and Clinical Psychotherapy from MMU, who is currently studying a Doctorate in Psychological Therapies course and hoping to become a registered Psychotherapist in the future inshallah. She is also working as Special Educational Needs Teacher, supporting young people from a diverse background in their emotional, psychological and educational needs. She has been working with a range of charities from the age of 16 and pride myself in working with organisations with a charitable and client focused initiative. When I came across the services available for her community to raise the awareness of the benefits of counselling and psychotherapy within the Muslim community she could not find any until she came across Inspirited Minds. From understanding Inspirited Minds work ethic and focus she feels very fortunate to be a part of such a creative and multicultural team.

Safiyah Khan

Counselling & Support Manager

Safiyah is a Qualified Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner, with a Masters in Psychological Therapies, she has several years of experience with working within the mental health field in the NHS. She has spent three years working within a mental health inpatient unit for young people who suffered from a range of mental health issues, from eating disorders to psychosis. She offered them support within this role in their moments of crisis and helped carry out group therapy. She also has experience working with adults within the community, providing Low-Intensity Cognitive Behavioural Therapy as a way of managing their low mood and anxiety by teaching them skills and methods of overcoming these difficulties. Safiyah has always been passionate about trying to encourage conversations around mental health within the Islamic and BAME to try and reduce the stigma around it, to allow for those who are suffering to get the support they may need. While working in the NHS she has engaged with local community faith leaders and carried out presentations about mental health to the community to try and increase people’s understanding, also creating a space for discussion to be able to allow people to see the perspective of other individuals. She hopes to continue to help this cause within her role at Inspirited Minds.

Zaynab Mohamed

Support Worker

Zaynab is a Psychology graduate and a qualified Cognitive Behavioural Therapist. She has worked in mental health for the past 7 years, she has experience working within a variety of care settings and charity organisations. Zaynab has a specialist interest in transcultural mental health and raising mental health awareness within the Muslim communities.

Hajer Bachi

Support Worker

Hajer is a Neuroscience Msc graduate with a keen interest in self-development, mental health and matters of the mind. Currently she is a journal specialist in scientific research. Over the past years she has worked with persons suffering from Dementia all the way to Paraplegia and continues to contribute in partaking in community work. Hajer has a special interest in Islamic philosophy and psychology and aims to continue to learn and uplift others through education and volunteering.

 

Umamah Choudhury

Support Worker

Umamah is currently studying BSc Psychology at King’s College London and her future plans include pursuing a career in mental health and helping the community. She believes the best way to do this is to gain first-hand practical experience from the very people who are have undertaken this responsibility. She came to learn and respect the great work that Inspirited Minds offer in approaching mental health from a faith perspective. She therefore is keen to increase her understanding of how Islam and mental health can be combined, whilst also fulfilling her duty to aid the community in whichever way she can.

Sana Mahmud

Support Worker

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Umra Hayat

Support Worker

After completing a BA in English from Queen Mary University of London, Umra was exposed to a variety of challenging theorists which she now uses to write her blog. One of her aims is to make academia more accessible to young people through engaging them with thinkers that are pivotal to history and the current social situations we see. A keen writer of non-fiction and passionate about positive psychology, mental health (non-clinical and community based empowerment), spirituality and dismantling ideological structures.

Sarah Gulamhusein

Communications Manager

Sarah is a Master’s graduate in Psychology, having completed an undergraduate degree in Medical Biochemistry. She is passionate about mental health and has attained a good knowledge of mental illnesses from both a scientific and psychological perspective. From her early years, she has been a keen writer and has consistently used her words to raise awareness and battle the stigma of mental health in society, highlight the challenges faced by Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities within the UK – especially for an organisation called 1000women. She hopes to use her skills and motivation to inspire others, promote co-existence and help others.

Hamida Moulvi

Publishing Lead

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.

Faizah Malik

Writer

Faizah is an English, American Literature and Comparative Literary Studies graduate from the University of Kent at Canterbury. She has a background in Publishing and has worked for Hachette and HarperCollins. She now dedicates her time to writing and running her online business Kenze. She is currently studying Counselling and Psychotherapy at the Convergence College in Milton Keynes and has been involved in arranging workshops for local women to boost confidence and provide support to those who may need it. It is her passion for healing others that motivates her and she hopes to provide a voice through her writing to inspire hope to those who are struggling.

Isma Ahmed

Writer

Isma is a graduate in the healthcare field and has a keen passion for psychology and mental health specifically. She has worked with an array of other non-profit organisations. As an avid book reader with an eagerness to learn more, she will love to educate the readers further from stories she finds. Isma specifically joined Inspirited Minds due to their sensitive outlook and compassion for those around us, which she hopes others will apply to their lives.

Abir Ali

Web and 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.

Qudsiyah Remtulla

Graphic Designer

Qudsiyah has a Bachelor’s in Business and Management and is originally from Tanzania, Africa. She runs an online platform called The Visual Age and passionately believes that this journey of life isn’t an individual one, but one that we can take together by building one another up and growing together. Thus, she has made it her personal purpose to pour her heart into ways for us to pursue self-betterment through faith and creativity, together. She does this through her faith-based podcast (Soulful Latte Podcast), infographics on self-growth material, personal life letters to her mailing list and events. Her vision is to create safe spaces for people to come together, build meaningful conversation, share, learn and grow through this life together.

Shaheena Jussab

Social Media Specialist

Shaheena is an Information Technology graduate and secondary school teacher from the West midlands who has an invested interest in bettering one’s mental health through spiritual and communal connections. With a background in voluntary community work she had joined inspirited minds to contribute and connect so that she can support others.

 

Sivan Kader

Podcast Host

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.

Eraj Ismail

Rebrand Lead

Zohrah Yaqub

Copywriter

Sarah Salih

Outreach and Research Manager

From a young age, Sarah has been passionate about community service. After completing her GCSEs, she travelled to the US to gain a diploma in Foundational Islamic Sciences from the Qalam Seminary. She then returned to continue her A-levels and subsequently gained a BSc in Psychology from Queen Mary University. Alongside her studies, at the age of 18, she founded an organisation called CONSCIOUS which was initially aimed at building faith-driven young people and placing them at the forefront of communal change. As a wider need was recognised, the organisation then grew to serve all women of all ages. She continues to serve in the capacity of Director, offering regular socio-spiritual services to the community. Sarah has also gained an MSc in Child and Adolescent Mental Health from University College London (UCL) and is continuing her pursuit of sacred Islamic Sciences with Qalam Institute working towards an Alimiyyah Degree. She hopes to merge her background in Mental Health and Islamic Studies to better serve the community with a focus on Muslim youth. She has worked with various organisations such as Islam Channel, Muslim Council of Britain, Yaseen Youth, Muslim Youth Initiative, J4Y Scouts and others. Her roles have ranged from being a youth mentor, researcher, teacher, prison mentor to more managerial roles such as project manager, lead supervisor on trips abroad, curriculum developer and event manager.

Farhana Maleque

Workshop Trainer

Farhana is an accredited Youth and Adult Mental Health First Aider, qualified Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner and currently a Trainee Clinical Psychologist. She has studied an MSc in Global and Cultural perspectives, giving her a rich insight into the influence of colonialism and eurocentric cultures on ethnic mental health inequalities globally and locally. She has experience within the mental health field since 2012 providing psychological and emotional support in traditional NHS settings and non-traditional settings such as a boxing gym and charities, including Inspirited Minds, where she trains and delivers Islamically tailored mental health workshops to the community. She has been heavily involved in initiatives to improve wellbeing, engagement, career development opportunities and psychological outcomes of ethnically minoritised staff and service users across different NHS trusts and within the British Psychological Society. Farhana takes special interests in mastering one’s self-awareness and self-compassion, social justice, community and faith psychology, equitable access to mental health services, the influence of culture in therapy, and the role of power dynamics in relation to systemic inequalities in health care. Through the work with Inspirited Minds, she is eager to reach out to individuals from black, ethnic minority backgrounds, the Muslim community, young people, and those who are experiencing or have experienced social injustice.

Warisa Hussain

Outreach Worker

Warisa is an NLP Practioner, accredited Life Coach, Domestic Abuse educator and an Islamic studies graduate, who holds an MA in Clinical Psychology and MSc in Child, Adolescent and Family Mental Health. She is 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 fleeing war and conflict, immigrants, victims and survivors of domestic abuse, people suffering from trauma. Warisa would like to provide psychosocial support to the most vulnerable members of the BAME community. Currently, she works as an Aid worker for a humanitarian organisation and hosts a weekly talk show on TV to raise awareness about Mental Health and promote psychological wellbeing amongst Muslims living in the UK and Europe. She is particularly interested in spiritual psychology and the Islamic perspective on mental health. In her spare time she loves travelling and volunteering.

 

Merve Cetinkaya

Outreach Worker

Merve is a PhD candidate at the Division of Psychiatry at University College London. Merve has completed her BA in Theology at Ankara University in Turkey. She gained a Master degree in Religion and Contemporary Society at the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at Kings College London with the dissertation titled “ the relationship between Spiritual and Religious experiences and happiness among London Muslim youth”. The course and the research enabled to her understand the contemporary concept of religion and the effects of Spiritual side on individual mental health. She is currently researching on Islamic Spirituality, Mental health and Well-being by an interdisciplinary approach. She wants to help people through the service of Inspirited Minds.

Saira Khanum

Outreach Worker

Saira is a Business Studies graduate who expresses a keen interest in the matters of mental health. Whilst at university she was actively involved in voluntary work within the campus and across the local community, striving to help meet people’s social and spiritual needs. She aspired for others to get involved in volunteering upon learning of the positive impact it had on her mental wellbeing. Through Inspirited Minds, she hopes to touch lives by supporting communities and building connections whilst promoting good mental wellbeing and challenging stigmas.

Adisah Azumah

Scotland Outreach Lead

Adisah is a BACP qualified counsellor who is also a key worker with NHS where she uses her skills to promote patient safety and recovery in the psychiatric ward. She provides person-centred counselling as well as Islamic perspective counselling for people with mild to moderate mental health diagnosis. She has worked with reputable charities such as Place2be where she was the School Project Manager for a couple of schools. At this post, she accomplished delivering the services and increasing access to psychological/emotional support for all pupil with increased access by BAME pupils. In working with her you can expect transparency, compassion and integrity and she also enjoys having a laugh and letting her kinky hair down.

Hana Afrah

Outreach Worker

Hana graduated with a BSc in Psychology, completed a PG Dip in Clinical Mental Health Sciences and is currently a Trainee Clinical Psychologist in the NHS. Hana has a wide range of experience in mental health from community service settings to mental health research experience. She is passionate about equality, diversity and inclusion in clinical psychology and in access to mental health services, and has a keen interest in trauma, particularly within Muslim and Somali communities. She aspires to deliver Islamically informed interventions to the community and is dedicated to reducing the stigma of mental health within Muslim communities.

Sharmina Akhtar

Outreach Worker

Sharmina is a BA graduate in Psychology and Criminology. She has always had a keen interest in the process of trauma recovery and the empowerment of vulnerable individuals. This led her to work as a domestic abuse trauma recovery facilitator, where she was able to support victims of domestic abuse. She is currently working as a family support worker and a mentor for young girls facing mental health difficulties. Her role enables her to deliver interventions to help support and strengthen families and individuals. Sharmina’s keen on joining Inspirited Minds to reach out and raise awareness of issues relating to domestic abuse especially in the BAME and Muslim community. She is passionate about challenging the stigma associated with mental health and domestic abuse in the community and through her work she aspires to educate and empower individuals.

Sarah Salih

Outreach and Research Manager

From a young age, Sarah has been passionate about community service. After completing her GCSEs, she travelled to the US to gain a diploma in Foundational Islamic Sciences from the Qalam Seminary. She then returned to continue her A-levels and subsequently gained a BSc in Psychology from Queen Mary University. Alongside her studies, at the age of 18, she founded an organisation called CONSCIOUS which was initially aimed at building faith-driven young people and placing them at the forefront of communal change. As a wider need was recognised, the organisation then grew to serve all women of all ages. She continues to serve in the capacity of Director, offering regular socio-spiritual services to the community. Sarah has also gained an MSc in Child and Adolescent Mental Health from University College London (UCL) and is continuing her pursuit of sacred Islamic Sciences with Qalam Institute working towards an Alimiyyah Degree. She hopes to merge her background in Mental Health and Islamic Studies to better serve the community with a focus on Muslim youth. She has worked with various organisations such as Islam Channel, Muslim Council of Britain, Yaseen Youth, Muslim Youth Initiative, J4Y Scouts and others. Her roles have ranged from being a youth mentor, researcher, teacher, prison mentor to more managerial roles such as project manager, lead supervisor on trips abroad, curriculum developer and event manager.

Faiz Rahman

Research Assistant

Faiz is currently pursuing a career in counselling and has spent time studying Islamic sacred knowledge. He has been involved in various community projects from teaching in school to delivering public speeches and volunteering at a listening service. His main goal is to engage with the community to help address the societal and religious issues such as terrorism, gang crime, intergenerational challenges and mental health. His interests lie in studying and researching Islamic teachings with a focus on the psychological aspects of the Quranic and Prophetic scriptures. Through these efforts he hopes to make a positive contribution to the British Muslim society.

Yasmin Rahman

Research Assistant

Yasmin has a BSc (Hons) in Chemistry from Queen Mary, University of London and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Public Health at Warwick Medical School. She is passionate about improving the mental wellbeing of young people and has completed research projects on the mental health of students in Higher Education, including BAME students. Yasmin is working to create an online resource library at the University of Warwick for staff and students to implement wellbeing in the teaching and learning environment. She is keen to help young Muslims improve their mental wellbeing and tackle the stigma attached to mental health within the Muslim community.

Amy Culshaw

Research Assistant

Amy first discovered the work of Inspirited Minds when collecting research papaers for her Undergraduate Dissertation on Sufism and Self-Worth, written in application for her Degree in Islamic Studies at the University of Edinburgh. From this, she discovered the blog and the Mindful Muslim podcast and became an avid follower of the work that the Charity do. Through past volunteer work – with the Holocaust Educational Trust, Remembering Srebrenica Scotland, the Humanist Society Scotland and the Religion and Ethics in the Making of War and Peace (Relwar) Project – Amy has been inspired to remember the people at the heart of conversations in conflict, religion and post-conflict studies. As such, she will further her education, beginning her masters in Peacebuilding and Reconciliation with the University of Winchester come September 2020. Amy is hopeful that her time as Research Assistant with Inspirited Minds will broaden her perspective on her passion for learning about interfaith approaches to conflict resolution as well following her own interest in the relationships of terminology and approaches in interpersonal/group therapy, classical Islamic psychology and contemporary theories of peacebuilding, through opening her mind to different areas of research that she is not yet familiar with.

Rumena Islam

Research Assistant

Rumena graduated with a degree in Psychology in 2017, after which she went on to complete her MSc in Early Intervention in psychosis at King’s College London. Last year she completed her PGDip in Education mental health practice, where she qualified as an educational mental health practitioner. Currently she is working with children and young people with low to moderate mental health difficulties in 1:1 setting, but also
carrying out targeted groups and universal workshops for pupils, teachers and parents. She has a particular interest in improving access to mental health services for the Muslim community as currently this population is one of the least likely to seek support.

Atiyah Soopee

Research Assistant

Atiyah is a psychology graduate from the University of Greenwich and completed her MSc degree in Child and Adolescent Psychology last year receiving a distinction. Her dissertation focused on emerging adults long-term experiences of parental divorce. The topic of parental conflict and the impact of this on offspring is something she’s particularly interested in exploring. Atiyah has volunteered in multiple places including hospitals, children centres, care centres and various charities. She is currently a crisis volunteer and works as an occupational therapy technician in a CAMHS unit for children and young people with complex mental health difficulties. Atiyah is passionate about facilitating open discussions and sitting with the discomfort that we often find present in Muslim communities when talking about mental health. She hopes to bring about positive action and to change the way Muslim communities engage with health and faith. Atiyah’s an avid reader and also loves to explore different cultures, so if she hasn’t got her nose in a book, you’re likely to find her learning a new language.

Faryal Khurshid

Research Assistant

Faryal graduated with an honours degree in Psychology in 2019. Her most recent experience involves teaching in a madrassa, where she has grasped an insight into the challenges faced by youth in the UK Muslim community while keeping in touch and nurturing the Islamic environment around her. She is keen to delve into the world of being able to aid others through the production of valuable research as well as, going on a new journey that works towards attaining further knowledge in the field of Muslim mental health.

Meanha Begum

Head of Operations

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.

Farhana Uddin

Operations Officer

Yasmin Ahmed

Operations Officer

Yasmin is a graduate of Hispanic Studies and Catalan from Queen Mary University. She is also a language teacher. She has worked with students with learning difficulties and found that mental health impacts learning and confidence. Yasmin had always had an interest in counselling and well-being and from this, she developed a passion to help people.

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