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

Chief Visionary Officer & 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

Public Relations 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.

Jamilla Hekmoun

Public Relations Officer

Jamilla is a final year undergraduate studying Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies and Vice President of the Islamic Society at the University of Exeter. After being diagnosed with anxiety and depression, she is keen on improving the understanding of mental health conditions within Muslim communities. Follow her on Twitter @JamillaTweets.

Faizah Malik

Public Relations Officer

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.

Sarah Gulamhusein

Public Relations Officer

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.

Farida El Kafrawy

Public Relations Officer

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.

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.

Sajidah Ali

Social Media Specialist

Sajidah is an International Relations graduate with a keen interest in social justice and empowerment. She strongly believes in the social responsibility of the Muslim Community, and believes that opening up conversations and understanding around mental health is an important step forward in this direction. Now and again, she likes to contribute her musings to online platforms, as well her own blog.

Fatima Samih

Marketing Officer

Fatima holds a Bachelors of Honors degree in Education Studies from the Institute of Education. Currently, she works as special needs educational support tutor and hopes to enter teacher training in early years from September 2018. As well as this, Fatima also hopes to work for non-governmental organisations that help refugees and disadvantaged young people receive their right to education. In her lifetime, she wants to work to break the stigma of Mental Health in Asian communities and create a space in these communities where the struggles of mental health amongst children, adults and elderly are discussed with understanding, compassion and respect. Therefore in the near future, Fatima is determined to work and train with mental health charities to gain the skills she needs to tackle the stigma attached to mental health in Asian communities.

Amir Rehman

Graphic Designer

Amir is a graduate in Graphic Design studied in De Montfort Leicester University and is currently working in a telecommunication company EE from the store front. He has an ambition to use his design skills to show Islam’s colourful and meaningful light and enjoy and understand the beauty of what this religion is.

Maryam Clark

Illustrator (Mental Health Champion)

Farhana Maleque

Outreach Manager

Farhana is a psychology graduate from Sussex University and currently undertaking motivational interviewing training. She works as an assistant psychologist in an inpatient psychiatric hospital in the NHS. She’s actively involved in running psychological groups like mindfulness, wellbeing, recovery and self compassion, as well as working with peer support workers (individuals with lived experience) to run co-produced training and workshops for staff and the community. She is also working as a research assistant in a number of service development projects. Her special interests lie in developing ones self-awareness and self compassion. She is also motivated in normalizing and reframing people’s view on different mental health difficulties by exploring and understanding a range of contributing factors. These include relationships, childhood experiences, life events, stressors and others. Farhana is passionate about working and learning from those with lived experience and carers, and help empower them to look at themselves and others as humans, steering away from labels to recognize and appreciate their unique set of skills, values, hopes and dreams. Through the work with Inspirited Minds, she is eager to reach out to everyone, specifically individuals from black, ethnic minority backgrounds, the Muslim community, young people, and those who are experiencing or have experienced social injustice, so we can start valuing and openly talk about our mental health like we do with our physical health when we go to the doctors.

Haleema Akhtar

Outreach Worker

Haleema is a student at SOAS studying for a degree in International Relations. She is interested in grassroots activism within the BME community. In her spare time, she enjoys blogging, reading, and baking. Haleema joined Inspirited Minds as she is passionate about tackling the stigma around mental health in the Muslim community. She hopes to make a difference in this regard and wants to encourage a conversation about mental health in mosques and beyond, in order to empower individuals and ensure that nobody suffers in silence.

Sadia Lira

Outreach Worker

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.

Sidra Beg

Outreach Worker

Sidra is an MSc student of Health Psychology. She has over 10 years of experience, working in different aspects of Mental Health. Her experiences lead her to develop a strong interest between psychological processes and healthy behaviour. Sidra is particularly interested in the effect that living in a consumerist society has on mental health, she aspires to work towards helping tackle every day addictions such as sugar, shopping or social media. She strives to increase the quality of the community by helping people getting to know themselves better through self-awareness and self-reflection.

Haajira Hussain

Outreach Worker

Haajira is a full-time educator via the TeachFirst Leadership Development Programme and is currently working in a secondary school in one of London’s most deprived boroughs. Her work has allowed her to recognise the dire need to create safe spaces within communities to address issues surrounding emotional stability and resilience. She has a keen interest in understanding trauma and the long-lasting impact this can have, especially within the Muslim population. She hopes to use her understanding of medical science, human behaviour and Islam to inspire a paradigm shift within people on how they view mental health.

Fawziya Huq

Support Manager

Fawziya studied Medicine at King’s College London and is currently specialising in Psychiatry working in a variety of settings. She was a late bloomer in the field of mental health, having first become interested in her latter part of her junior training, but since then she has not looked back! She is particularly interested in the interface between the mind and body and thus is currently sub-specialising in Liaison Psychiatry; providing an outreach mental health service for those in A&E, medical and surgical wards and women’s health. She has joined Inspirited Minds with the hope of raising awareness of mental health in the Muslim communities and driving down the stigma.

Fahim Uddin

Support Worker

Fahim is a Psychology student at UCL and intends to pursue a career in Clinical Psychology. The lack of Muslim figures, especially males, within the field is something he wants to help change for the future. He would also like to contribute and further the involvement of Muslims in both research and practise.

Haniyyah Iqbal

Support Worker

Haniyyah is currently studying a Msc in Clinical Psychology. Having worked within the community and healthcare settings, Haniyyah aims to improve openness of discussion about mental health issues within the Muslim community through education and support. Her future goal is to become a clinical psychologist and to help reduce the stigma associated with mental health issues within the Muslim community, encouraging individuals to realise the important role that mental health plays alongside spiritual health in one’s day to day life.

Raneem Idris

Support Worker

Raneem has a BSc in Psychology and has recently completed her Masters in Clinical, Social and Cognitive Neuroscience at City, University of London. She has worked in an acute day hospital with individuals experiencing a wide range of mental health disorders. Raneem has also interned at Mind and whilst working there she conducted research investigating the issues minority ethnic groups experience in mental health settings in the UK. Her research was focused on the mental health assessment process and the factors influencing BAME/BME communities from seeking support (e.g. stigma). Raneem would like to become a Clinical Psychologist, is passionate about Neurotheology and Social Psychology.

Zara Khan

Support Worker

Zara is a psychology graduate currently undertaking her MSc in Child Psychology. Zara has experience with vulnerable adults and children and wants to use this to help others and continue on towards a PhD. She aims to help Muslims that have faced problems relating to the stigma against Mental Health as well as educate people about the relationship between Islam and Mental Health.

Aaliyah Shaikh

Senior Psychotherapeutic Advisor

Aaliyah is an Aziz Foundation Scholar (2017), who has been awarded a scholarship for a PhD in Women’s Health on trauma and is the founder of Rahmah Wellbeing, a Psychotherapeutic Counsellor and Birth Trauma Educator. She holds an MEd in Child and Adolescent Psychotherapeutic Counselling from University of Cambridge (thesis: An unconscious alchemy of the womb: How women’s (psychosocial and neurobiological) experiences and feelings regarding menstruation and birth affect their attachment relationship with their child) and a MA in Muslim Community Studies. Aaliyah worked as the youngest employed Muslim female Chaplain from the age of 24 for Imperial College NHS Healthcare Trust for 6 years. She specialises in trauma, and the time in the womb as impacting later life development. She is interested in neuroscience, demedicalisation of birth, trauma, attachment, psychology of pain, and the role of patriarchy in women’s health. Aaliyah feels passionately towards natural health, unschooling, natural parenting and conscious living. Her passion is in encouraging women to reclaim their bodies and choices from culture, patriarchy and medicalisation and to empower women through igniting conscious awareness of the power of the womb to restore and heal.

Fatima Dadabhoy

Counsellor

Fatima is a qualified, integrative counsellor and has been dealing with a range of issues throughout her career. Fatima has particular expertise and experience in dealing with stress, anxiety, abuse, violence and relationship problems. Fatima is also experienced in working with clients, being non-judgemental and working within a confidential environment. When under stress a person’s thinking ability may become blocked, however Fatima believes that every client has the potential to move forward from their stressful situation, when given the right conditions and opportunities. Fatima is emphatic with her clients, in order to understand their feelings at a deep level. She accepts and values her clients without any conditions attached. She works as a congruent and genuine counsellor and aims to build a strong client-counsellor relationship. Fatima is able to speak English, Urdu and Gujrati.

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.

Zahra Akhtar

Finance Officer

Zahra is a Business Management graduate from King’s College London currently working as a qualified accountant. Working with Inspirited Minds she hopes to raise awareness of mental health and help combat the lack of conversation around the topic. In her spare time she enjoys travelling, baking and going to the gym.

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.

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.

Myira Khan

Advisory Board Member

Myira is a BACP accredited counsellor, who provides face to face and online counselling to adults, couples and young people. She is a qualified supervisor who provides clinical supervision to trainee and experienced counsellors and psychotherapists. She is also the founder of the Muslim Counsellor and Psychotherapist Network and is trained in Islamic Psychology and Islamic Psychotherapy. Myira also presents and facilitates counselling training, CPD workshops and conferences; teaches and assesses counselling trainees at the Leicester Centre for Psychodynamic Counselling, which she helped set-up, and is on the BACP Board of Governors.

Shaykh Dr Abu Ibrahim

Advisory Board Member

Shaykh Dr Abu Ibrahim completed his PhD in Law. His research focused on British Muslims and the practice of Islamic family law.
He has completed his Alim course and holds a BSc, and an MA in Islamic Studies. He is an Imam, khateeb and lecturer; and regularly delivers sermons and lectures throughout the UK. He regularly appears on TV, and works with Muslim charities, community organisations, and educational institutions including Islamic Societies.

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.

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