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Anxiety. Anhedonia. Academia..?

15,000 first year students in UK universities reported they suffered from a mental health problem – a drastic increase of nearly five times the figure previously seen in 2006 – 3,000. The increase in statistics led to an increase in demand for counselling services, however despite the surge in help-seeking behaviour – there are many students who do not seek treatment for their mental health problems. Are you one of them?

Seeking help can sometimes be the most difficult part . As students our main goal is to excel and make the most out of our opportunities and hence any setback can be very distressing, making us question our success.

Three brave and inspiring individuals have shared their mental health stories with us and you. May Allah bless them and allow us all to benefit from their stories inshAllah.

Picture by @fitrahealing. Posted August 25th 2020

Mental health conditions do not hold a person back from succeeding academically. However, a few things are required.

  • Re strategising and a refocus
  • What does success mean at each stage of your student journey?
  • Starting small – maybe today success for you is just getting out of bed
  • Tying your camel- if you are able to continue with your studies, what measures need to be put in place?
  • If your health prevents you from studying, do you need some time away to receive treatment?
  • Changing perspective – if we choose to look at difficulties from a productive lens, the measures of success changes drastically
  • Being kind to yourself- how is constantly criticising yourself any different to someone following you all day shouting abuse at you?

Is taking time away from  studies to better one’s health inherently negative, or is that an unconscious and/ or societal bias? Does the vast amount of growth and altered perspective a person gains through overcoming challenging situations disadvantage you, or does it potentially even have unique benefits for your future career development

@fitrahealing. Date posted 8th October 2020

You can get help for a mental health problem that you are currently facing. The following link will locate your local counselling service, where you can get help (for free), by referring yourself.

Inspirited Minds is a UK faith based charity. Their website features a blog of regular articles on issues very relevant to the mental wellbeing of Muslim students. They also offer counselling services.

Here are some particular posts we highly encourage you to read:

fb @InspiritedMinds 

ig @inspiritedminds

fb @AafiyahProject

ig @aafiyahproject


Aafiyah Project is an organisation made up of individuals with a wealth of experience in the field.  They offer mental health and welfare training sessions for islamic societies and organisations.