Free faith-based Mental Health Counselling Support for Muslims working in the NHS  Inspirited Minds and the Lateef Project have partnered with the NHS Muslim Network and NHS England and NHS Improvement’s Health and Wellbeing Team to provide a confidential and Islamic-based counselling service for our NHS people, delivered by qualified counselling therapists. 

Update from COVID-19 Vaccines briefing

In January 2021, we organised dedicated COVID-19 vaccines webinars which brought together clinical experts from NHS England & Improvement, NHS trusts, representatives from research bodies and Islamic Scholars to help answer key questions including the clinical perspectives, how does the vaccine work, benefits and risks, safety regarding the vaccines and the Islamic Fiqh rulings and considerations.

All materials used and a recording of the session can be found on our COVID-19 Hub on our website. 

Yasmin’s vaccination story

Yasmin Khan a regional NHS worker from Newcastle’s Muslim community, is sharing her personal story to reassure others about the Covid-19 vaccination. Yasmin was offered the vaccine through her job and is speaking out to counter some of the concerns and rumours she has heard, which she feels could prevent people from coming forward to be protected. She is particularly concerned that members of the community should be aware of all of the facts before making a decision, including that the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines are both halal and supported by the British Islamic Medical Association and the Muslim Council of Britain.

A warning against COVID-19 Scammers

As coronavirus vaccines are being rolled out across the UK, fraudsters are using this as an opportunity to scam people. The NHS is warning everyone to be vigilant about fake vaccination invitations.

These scam emails, calls or texts often ask for personal and financial information, but the vaccine is free and the NHS would never ask for bank details. The National Cyber Security Centre and Action Fraud have asked anyone who receives a suspicious email or text to report it. BBC Asian Network is helping people in the South Asian community to spot potential scams, with advice videos in five South Asian languages: UrduPunjabiSylhetiTamil and Gujarati.

#GetVaccinated campaign

The Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA) is the largest pharmacist membership organisation in England and the UK, which includes over 700 members involved in it’s BAME Pharmacists Equality networks.  

The network recently launched a campaign encouraging BAME pharmacists and communities with vaccine hesitancy to #getvaccinated. The campaign includes short videos of pharmacists confirming they have been vaccinated and encouraging others to do the same; and where members speak more than English we are publishing versions in other languages too. To date that includes videos in Arabic, Bengali,  Cantonese, English, Hindi, the Irish language, Spanish, Twi and Welsh. 

Guidance for Vaccination Sites to support Community Venues

NHS England and NHS Improvement have provided guidance on further opportunities for Primary Care Networks and Community Pharmacies, in order to enable more community venues and places of worship to be engaged in vaccination delivery.

NHSEI Mental Health in the Workplace Strategy

NHSEI have developed a Mental Health in the Workplace Strategy, which underpins the commitment to supporting staff with their mental health. It looks to:

  1. Underpin their proactive approach to tackling mental ill health in the workplace.
  2. Be exemplary in addressing how they support employees to thrive at work and remain in employment.
  3. Help them to attract talented employees that reflect the community we serve.
  4. Ensure they meet our Mindful Employer commitment.
  5. Serve as an organisational response to the ‘Thriving at Work’ Stevenson/Farmer review.
  6. Support the implementation of the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health.
  7. Support the Long term Plan.
  8. Support the Sustainable Development Management Plan.

Help them become an employer of choice by developing a positive and  transparent culture which is supportive of mental health.

To find out more or to join the NHS England and NHS Improvement Mental Health Awareness training visit the Hub

NHS Health and wellbeing support offers

COVID-19 has presented challenges and obstacles that we’ve never experienced before, and looking after our health and wellbeing is vital.

The NHS has a wide range of options to support our health and wellbeing, and the additional support put in place across the service have now moved to a new website, at england.nhs.uk/people.

The health and wellbeing offer, which has been accessed over 700,000 times by people from all across the NHS, includes:

  1. Support now – access to helplines, a text line and wellbeing apps.
  2. Support offers – access wellbeing support such as counselling, coaching, virtual common rooms as well as support with bereavement, substance misuse, gambling and financial wellbeing.
  3. Support for all leaders – access coaching, mentoring and leadership support circles.
  4. Support for exec leaders – access 1:1 psychological support, mentoring, chief executive common rooms and stories from other leaders.

If you’re struggling, or simply want to better manage your health and wellbeing, support is available.  

Financial wellbeing support

All health and social care staff can access free, impartial and confidential money advice from Money Advice Service support line.

You can also make contact through the following ways:

  1. Free-Phone Line – 0800 448 0826
  2. Web Chat – on the online portal via this link
  3. Text WhatsApp – +44 7701 342 744

Coaching offer for NHS BAME staff

Following feedback from staff NHSE&I have updated and simplified guidance to support alternative working patterns during COVID-19 to reinforce the health and wellbeing offer. The national Health and Wellbeing support offer for NHS Staff incudes a pilot 1:1 Coaching Support offer for BAME NHS Staff working in Trusts. This is a pilot and places are limited so sign up now!

Fab Minds

Fab Minds is a befriending service for Black, Asian and ethnic minority (BAME) women, aged 18 plus and living in the UK. They provide confidential safe spaces for BAME women who are experiencing depression, anxiety and other mental health challenges. 

This space has been created to allow BAME women living with mental health the freedom to speak and share confidentially about their mental health challenges in a safe and non-judgemental setting. They can share their experiences, hear about other people’s experiences, and respond.

Our mission

Fab Minds aims to eliminate the stigmas and prejudice’s associated with mental health issues amongst the BAME community, by providing quality access to mental health support and treatment. 

What do we do?

They have 140 BAME female members in our support group and our membership is growing. Activities include free informal online talks given by doctors and mental health experts. Members are able to ask personalised questions and have them answered by professionals in the field. Talks include how to manage depression, anxiety and stress and more.

Members with experience and a passion for mental health and wellbeing are also invited to run befriending sessions through our platform. These are supervised and carried out in a safe space for members to deliver topics as well as share their challenges. 

Next steps They are set to launch our BAME men’s mental health support group in the next 2 weeks. If you would like to attend one of their sessions please see below for a list of contact details.

How to reach Fab Minds

  • Fab Minds can be contacted at:
  • Email                                    fabminds2020@gmail.com
  • Facebook                             Fabminds@facebook.com
  • Twitter                                  Fab Minds (@MindsFab)
  • Farah (Representative)        07967136035/ f.butt1@nhs.net Heba (Representative)         07931477285

Update on multi-faith rooms

We are always making sure our colleagues have the right support and facilities when they are at work, as part of the change there are now two multi Faith Rooms available for staff in Quarry House. The original Room 7C03 is dedicated for male members and Room 1C18 is dedicated for female members. Both rooms have been addressed in terms of social distancing and marked out accordingly. Sanitiser and wipes are available in both rooms.

We are looking to create a full list of prayer facilities available in the NHS – if you would like to share your facility on our website, please email us with a description, route and image of the prayer facility to: england.muslim1@nhs.net.We have also released pray guidance which is designed, for managers and team members, to increase awareness relating to Islamic prayer times: Read more

Coaching support

One of the aim’s for the Muslim network is Networking and progression – to provide a forum for Muslim professionals in the NHS to network and build, which is why we are collaborating with Monica Sharma to help with coaching support.

Monica who works in the Screening & Immunisation team is currently studying the Effective Coaching and Mentoring qualification. She is looking for two people to coach over the next 6 months, spending 6 hours with each client, comprising of  4* 1.5 hour sessions. Coaching is a process that enables learning and development to occur and performance to improve. The coaching would be carried out in 1-2-1 meetings using MS Teams video, generally focusing on a short-term performance goal. The coaching conversations would cover progress, personal development, finding solutions and committing to action.

Upcoming Events

Celebrating Muslim Women in the NHS

Inspired by the everyday courage we see demonstrated by ordinary people during these extraordinary times, we are celebrating International Women’s Day with the webinar showcasing female role models.

12th March from 10:00 – 12:00

Empowering Me, Empowering You

Empowering Me, Empowering You: International Women’s Day Registration, Thu 11 Mar 2021 at 18:00 | Eventbrite: CUBE Network, Wharf Sisters Network and ConsortiuM are hosting a free event: Empowering Me, Empowering you for International Women’s Day, the event will host an interactive panel discussion with inspirational Muslims in Senior Professional Roles.

BIMA COVID-19 Survey

The British Islamic Medical Association (BIMA) have developed a short survey on the COVID-19 vaccines to understand the perspectives and beliefs of the Muslim Community. We encourage all members to take part in order to provide more detailed information about how the NHS can support the roll out of the vaccines.

Additional Resources

Some additional resources from the last month include:

  1. Children’s mental health week
  2. Teenager’s mental health in the pandemic: Mental health Foundation’s findings of it’s ongoing study of 13-19 year olds’ mental health in the pandemic
  3. Dispelling myths on the COVID-19 vaccine: Building vaccine confidence in BAME communities. Examples of quote cards, infographics and videos to share can be found here: vaccine infographics
  4. British Islamic Medical Association’s (BIMA) COVID-19 Vaccine Hub – A one stop shop on debunking myths surrounding the COVID 19 vaccines
  5. Muslim Doctors Association (MDA) have just published the answers to 50 frequently asked questions

British Board of Scholars & Imams (BBSI) – Top 10 questions asked about vaccines

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