On 2nd December 2017, the Birmingham Abbasi Youth Network (BAYN) held the first mental health seminar led by Sakina Zahra Nazerali, with a very successful 120 attendees. This seminar was aimed to make the community aware of mental health and the reality of its impact to people even within our community. This seminar was a safe place to discuss these very important topics.
Sheikh Nuru being the MC mentioned the Islamic aspect on mental health. He emphasized that it is very important to seek help and diagnosis of any condition that someone may have. There are also some spiritual aspects which can assist, however it is important to seek the help of professionals in this field who are mentioned below. Dr Abbas Ramji spoke about OCD, depression, anxiety and Schizophrenia/psychosis. These were accompanied by very useful videos which showed what these conditions mean in the eyes of those who are affected.
Rukaiya Bhanji talked about the facts and myths about mental health medication. She explained what the benefits are and the reality of the effect of the medicines. There is no instant cure for mental health, it takes time and patience, she emphasized. Many people might think that that the medicine either cures or doesn’t have any effect, in fact it is more complex than that.
Dr Safraz Jeraj talked about the relationship between mental health and physical health and how we need to have a balance in these. He explained the steps in getting help and what we need to do with very accurate and relatable examples.
There was a very beneficial mindfulness session by Fatima Syed who gave us a practical meditation session which can be replicated at home. This was to help us in being in the now and to be aware of ourselves.
To top this off there was a very practical talk by a service user explaining her journey through certain conditions. She explained how she could overcome these issues by seeking the right help and the impact that can make.
One attendee mentioned “First of all I think it was a great event. And much needed for the community. I also think the coverage was very good - you managed to get an excellent range of topics which were all very relevant. The large number of attendees is a concrete sign of the interest people have and the value they are giving to this subject”.