The Inter Madrassah Organisation have launched Chai & Chat Sessions for Men who are looking to get out and engage in a safe comfortable environment.
They are hoping to run a programme that can be co-produced with the participants, who may have had struggles in life contributing to low mood, anxiety, or other difficulties with maintaining their emotional and mental wellbeing.
Afshan Akhtar, Health & Well-being Director at IMO said “Following the success of our Women 4 Women groups, I hope that the men’s session and activities provide room for early detection of symptoms and signposting also, to assist early intervention where necessary and improve the mental wellness of the local men”.
Professor Dominic Harrison Director of Public Health and Wellbeing Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council said “Improving the emotional and mental health of both men and women is a key priority for health and wellbeing improvement in both Blackburn with Darwen and across Lancashire and South Cumbria.
“The focus on men’s mental health in this initiative, led by the IMO, is particularly welcomed at this time. Men are often less good than women at ‘help-seeking’. This can mean that poor health – including poor mental health – can often get much worse than it needs to. Early help is good for us all”.
IMO say they now have a professionally qualified Registered Mental Health Nurse (RMN) with inpatient and crisis experience, to assist with and facilitate the programme, from whom professional advice and support can also be sought.
Ahmed Emam, Registered Mental Nurse for IMO said “IMO are planning activities which will or can include walking, playing football, going out to watch a football match, cooking, crafts, woodwork, Eco-therapy, Mental Health awareness sessions etc. providing a safe, confidential and comfortable environment for them to express themselves, their thoughts and feelings”.
The first session took place on Thursday 14 February 2019 at the Masjid-E-Sajideen, Little Harwood, Blackburn.
Cllr Salim Sidat MBE, Chairman of Masjid Sajideen said: “As a local councillor and the chair for the mosque, I understand mental health is a big issue within the community. As an organisation it is important we cater for the health & wellbeing needs for everyone we serve.
“Our aim is to support the local people towards improving their mental and physical wellness. We are excited in working with a grassroots BwD charity IMO on this project”.