Health and wellbeing

Funding level: £5,001 to £10,000


Nafsiyat was founded in 1983 by leading Indian psychotherapist Jafar Kareem, who recognised that many from BAMER communities with acute mental health problems struggled to access appropriate help. Nafsiyat's founding principles encompass the well-researched cultural and racial factors in mental illness. Our vision is to see all mental health services become accessible for the diverse cultural, racial, ethnic population in the UK. We are particularly focused on reaching the most disadvantaged and socially excluded communities. We provide therapeutic support free to adults in the Boroughs of Camden, Islington, Haringey and Enfield. Currently we can offer therapy in over 20 languages and employ both professional and qualified-volunteer therapists. Last year our team helped 242 people from BAMER communities struggling with mental-health issues.

Nafsiyat seeks funding to deliver the Arabic and Tigrinya Speaking Women Group at the Islington Mind Centre. Funding will enable us to deliver the pre-existing group for another year. The group-therapy session will be held once a week for 48 weeks. The aim of the group is to provide a safe space where vulnerable women can talk about past and current difficulties and other issues that affect their wellbeing. It provides social and cultural gatherings to overcome isolation and loneliness as well as encouraging women to participate in local activities, learn or improve skills, share experiences and acquire good knowledge of available services. The session will be divided up by hour with an ESOL and computer skills classes offered first followed by an hour dedicated to health issues. A doctor attends the group and other specialists lead sessions on nutrition, diabetes, blood pressure, stress and anxiety management and mental health awareness. The final part of the session is primarily social and based around activities such as baking or knitting. Members are invited to share their recipes and experiences, to relax and to develop a supportive network with one another.

Our project will help clients improve their mental health through psychosocial group therapy offered in a language they can easily communicate in and access practical support services. This project will help clients form friendships and a supporting network reducing their social isolation. In addition to enhance their mental health, clients will have an opportunity to improve their English speaking and computer literacy skills. Participants overall will experience an improvement to their quality of life and develop their independence. With the funding, Nafsiyat will facilitate the delivery of the project for one year. Funding will support a qualified group facilitator to lead the group and manage local volunteers and materials for classes. It will also cover the costs of social activities such as bread-baking, refreshments for participants and volunteers. 10% of the funding will contribute towards costs incurred by Nafsiyat to manage and administrate the project. We believe it is crucial to offer help to those who are in need and this funding will enable us to provide that to our community.

The target group consists of 26 Arabic and Tigrinya speaking women, 16 from the borough of Islington, 3 from Haringey, 3 from Hackney, 1 from Westminster, 1 Lambeth, 1 from Tower Hamlets and 1 from Camden. All the women are refugees and fled their country because of war. Most have experienced domestic violence. When they left their country, they experienced significant loss. They left family members, have language difficulties and suffer from poverty and isolation. On arrival in the UK, they face new challenges, including the challenge of learning English. Islington has a significantly higher level of mental ill-health than both London and England as a whole. It has the highest percentage of patients with psychotic disorders in England. Nafsiyat aims to target clients from this area where it is most required.

Project Video

Nafsiyat Intercultural Therapy Centre

The relationship and trust that Nafsiyat psychotherapists and counsellors build with a diverse community makes us proud of our project. Having the opportunity to see the positive changes in members of the project emotionally and socially is what gives Nafsiyat the drive to continue this project.

Location: London