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 Data Scientist at a startup bringing solar powered energy to the developing world. 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.

Salina Ahmed

Co-Founder

Salina is an activist engaging on subjects pertaining to religion, social issues and politics. She has partaken in these matters through written entries and public settings, sharing platforms with other intellectuals. Salina wishes to see a world absent from ills, conscious of oppression and a world against doctrines of conformity where it is safe to be unpopular. Salina hopes to be a contributing factor to a free society.

Meanha Begum

Communications Manager

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.

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.

Farida El Kafrawy

Writer

Farida is an undergraduate student studying social and political science at UCL. Having seen many struggle with their mental health, and having experienced poor mental health herself, she believes that it is important to speak up, destigmatise the topic and, inshallah, help others to understand what is happening, and how they can help themselves and others. As a regular reader of the Inspirited Minds blog, she knows first hand how reassuring it is to read an article addressing what you are experiencing with your faith in mind, and she hopes she can help reassure and support others in turn.

Zainab Shafan

Writer

Zainab is currently on her gap year – something she never thought she would do. She was studying Psychological and Behavioural Sciences at the University of Cambridge, however that did not work out so hopes to study pure Psychology at UCL next year. This year she aims to build a foundation for herself to develop skills and give back to the community; and the perfect opportunity arose with Inspirited Minds. The charity combines two disciplines very close to her heart (Islam and Psychology) and to be able to be involved through writing, a passion of hers, is a huge blessing. Reading the newsletters herself has been a continuous source of enlightenment and a means of catharsis; so, to be able to provide this for other people will be undoubtedly rewarding.

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.

Nafisah Atcha

Social Media Lead

Nafisah is a Social Media professional with experience blogging, digital marketing and content creation, She also has her own blog and YouTube Channel where she discusses issues such as confidence and self – a discussion she would like to take further within the muslim community. Nafisah has also contributed to local and national community charity events and is deeply passionate about using her skills in PR to contribute to this even further.

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.

Sarah Gulamhusein

Communications Project Lead

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.

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.

Farhana Maleque

Outreach Manager

Farhana is a BSc Psychology graduate from University of Sussex. She has experience of working within the mental health field since 2012 including roles such as a psychological wellbeing practitioner, assistant psychologist in mental health hospitals and in the community, mental health support worker, research assistant and befriender. She has been heavily involved in BAME related activities across different NHS trusts and within the British Psychological Society. She has experience in engaging in therapeutic activities catering to the needs to the BAME community as well as those from the Muslim community. She is an accredited Youth and Adult Mental Health First Aider and is trained to deliver motivational interviewing and the basics of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and CBT. Farhana is passionate about developing strategies to master one’s self-awareness and self-compassion. She is motivated in normalising and reframing people’s view on different mental health difficulties. 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.

Sadia Lira

Mosques and Communities Lead

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 Miah

Outreach Worker

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 Hussain

Outreach Worker

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.

Khudaija Ismail

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.

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.

Rubbia Ali

Outreach Worker

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Anas Abu

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.

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.

Aisha Hussain

Outreach Worker

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Nadia Ahmed

Outreach Administrator

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Nadia is a student at the University of Greenwich, studying a bachelor’s degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice. Studying Criminology has provided her with the opportunity to develop knowledge and gain insight into the world of crime and its effects on society, studying topics such as the crime and the media, forensic mental health and inequalities of the criminal justice system. She is particularly interested in the causes of mental health and mental health in the criminal justice system. She recognizes that more work needs to be done in the criminal justice system in recognizing mental health issues in offenders and supporting them while they are in prison and on their release. As well as her interest in crime, she has an interest in activism, social justice issues and always strives to learn and gain knowledge about her Islamic faith. She has the vision to challenge the stigma that is attached to mental health in the Muslim community and wants to see a world where mental health is seen as the number one priority.

Anfal El Awaisi

Research Manager

Anfal is a pharmacist and is currently finishing her MSc Psychiatry at Cardiff University. She carried out her dissertation regarding the attitudes of Muslim students towards mental health. Anfal is very passionate about mental health and specifically the mental health within the Muslim community. She worked on projects with Syrian refugee children in Turkey where many of these children suffer from different Mental health issues, which increased Anfal’s interest in mental health. She would like to work to provide a better understanding of mental health amongst the Muslim community both in the UK and worldwide. Anfal would like to ensure that there is high-quality research available about the mental health of Muslims to increase the understanding and awareness of the mental health of Muslims within the scientific, academic and local communities.

Saba Ikhlas Malik

Research Assistant

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 Ashraf

Research Assistant

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 Begum

Research Assistant

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 Iqbal

Research Assistant

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.

Tanveen Choudhury

Clinical Support Manager

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.

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.

Jodie Wozencroft-Reay

Counsellor

Jodie is an accredited cognitive behavioural therapist with a range of experience within both the justice and health services. Jodie is passionate particularly in working with people experiencing anxiety and appreciates how difficult it is for people to ask for help when struggling with problems like this. She is also experienced in working with obsessional related problems such as OCD, and autistic people with co-occurring problems. She is empathetic and supportive of her clients and will help them move towards the goals they set for themselves. She is passionate about enabling the Muslim community in accessing appropriate, effective and good quality mental health support. Jodie is a convert to Islam and understands that this can also be a factor in mental health difficulties.

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.

Zeenat Arif

Counsellor

Zeenat is an Integrative Counsellor with a vast knowledge base of various therapeutic approaches. The ability to combine modalities and current Psychotherapy research with individual client needs. Caring and compassionate in nature, empathic and curious about the inner worlds of individuals. Fascinated by the human mind, the capabilities of resiliency, healing and recovery through deep, trusting and safe relational encounters. A firm believer of Person-Centered values, guided by BACP ethics and driven to stay current in the counselling field through accessing training and CPD. She aims to support clients and help process unresolved emotions and life experiences, that cause conflict in clients’ present lives.

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.

Rukhsana Khan

Counsellor

Rukhsana currently works as a Senior Psychotherapist for the NHS. She achieved a four-year Diploma in Transactional Analysis Psychotherapy from the Manchester Institute for Psychotherapy. In addition to this she has achieved a BA in Psychology and Economics from Pakistan and a BSc (Hons) in Psychological Studies from the University of Huddersfield. She also holds a PGCE from the University of Bolton. Her success is based on her passion and diligence in building her career as a Lecturer in Psychology, a Counsellor and a Psychotherapist. She works with couples, individuals and young people, to provide short term solution focused therapy, working on specific issues and long-term therapy for issues needing more exploration. She works collaboratively with her clients and believes the client-therapist relationship is key to make change possible, recognising her client’s individuality and uniqueness as being the central principal of her work. Her background and experience of working with diverse communities has given her an in depth understanding of cultural issues and how they can influence our way of life. She has delivered talks and lectures on Transactional Analysis Psychotherapy, addiction, and emotional and social challenges facing young Muslims. She is a registered member of BACP and APSAAR (Asia-Pacific Society for Alcohol and Addiction Research).

Safiyah Khan

Assistant Clinical 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

Wellbeing Support Manager

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 Lead

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.

Hasna Khanom

Support Worker

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Sabiha Laboni

HR and Wellbeing Manager

Sabiha is a law graduate who has completed her masters in Human Resource Management with level 7 CIPD and has been working in the HR sector for over 7 years. She has personally known a few people who have experienced mental health difficulties and witnessed the stigmas around it within the South Asian community. She was inspired to join Inspirited Minds after attending an awareness session at her local mosque; and would like to work towards reducing stigmas around mental health through educating different generations of society. In spare time Sabiha likes to volunteer with different charities, read books and travel.

Rena Choudhury

HR and Wellbeing Lead

Rena is an ex District Manager from a financial organisation with a wealth of skills and experience in business and people management. She sits on a board of trustees within an established charity who look after the development of the refugees within their community. She is a Panel Manager in a mental health hospital and witnesses first-hand how bad untreated mental illness can become. She is also a support worker for the charity Macmillan Cancer Support, providing mental health support to recently diagnosed cancer patients. She is very passionate about mental health within the Muslim community and is currently training to be counsellor.

Asma Elnagdy

HR and Wellbeing Officer

Asma is a final year student at UCL, studying Psychology with Education. She has always had a passion for mental health and played an active role in her college providing support workshops to remove stigma, whilst also educating fellow students. She also played an active role in fundraising within the Somali Society at her university to help causes in Somalia such as building a school and improving maternal healthcare. She would like to utilise her psychological background to help the community as well as through her role in Human Resources.

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.

Huma Khan

Advisory Board Member

Huma graduated with a BA Hons in Business Administration, has a qualification in Neuro-linguistic programming and is currently completing her MSc in Occupational Business Psychology. Huma has 20 years of commercial experience during which she worked for blue-chip organisations such as Danone, Birds Eye and Nectar Loyalty (part of Sainsbury’s), as well as the global charity World Wildlife Fund. She has managed client P&L’s in excess of £150M across multiple sectors and won best supplier awards from Sainsbury’s and Nisa. Her key areas of expertise lie in Sales, Strategy, Customer Relationship Development, Profitable Revenue Growth, Negotiation, and Business Development. Huma has cultivated a career of breadth across key functional disciplines including sales, shopper marketing, supply chain, fundraising and general management, she has also worked across several industries including Field Marketing, FMCG, Private Equity, Data-driven Marketing, Not for Profit and Management Consultancy. Based on personal experiences, Huma founded SalesPsych Ltd in 2018, a psychology based commercial consultancy with one mission in mind ‘to create high performing, happy and healthy people and organisations’. SalesPsych provides consultancy, training and coaching that is grounded in scientific research and evidence-based practice, using the power of Positive Psychology to help people and businesses deliver better results. Huma is passionate about mental health and well-being and breaking down the cultural taboos associated with getting people the help that they need, when they need it most.

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.

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