10 Mental Health Organisations for British South Asians

Here’s a range of ten Mental Health organisations, aimed at helping South Asian communities through a number of different approaches.

10 Mental Health Organisations for South Asians f

Mental health in South Asian communities is something rarely acknowledged.

Mental health in British South Asian communities is a difficult and complex subject matter.

While it is progressively getting better in terms of awareness of mental health and well-being issues, there is still a long way to go for British South Asians.

In addition, there isn’t much awareness of mental health organisations that can help and act as support tools for the same minority groups.

This includes emphasis on disability, which both has an affect and effect on mental health.

Disability is not always physical either. Mental health needs to be realised as a disability and can impair anyone’s ability to function physically.

Therefore understanding mental health and how it can affect people from all walks of life needs to be better understood.

The Asian Disability Network has noted the following statistics on disability in the UK South Asian community:

  • There are 13.9 million disabled people in the UK.
  • 4% are from Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi backgrounds
  • 15% of the UK south Asian population live with a condition or impairment.
  • That’s equivalent to 1 in 6 people.
  • The proportion of south Asians providing unpaid care is at 27.6%

Some find it helpful to speak with loved ones or voice their thoughts and feelings out loud on paper. Others don’t feel encouraged to share at all.

Here are a range of mental health organisations, aimed at helping British South Asian communities through a number of different approaches.

It’s hoped that at least one of them can help if you or someone you know are suffering from any kind of mental health issues, related to disability or not.

Taraki

10 Mental Health Organisations for South Asians - Taraki

Taraki works with Punjabi communities in an effort to reshape approaches to mental health.

One example of this is their Open Minds Project, which is  “a hub for Punjabi LGBTQ+ people to access resources that make our communities stronger and more resilient.”

Their key areas of focus include LGBTQ+ discourse, building safe spaces for intersecting Punjabi communities, education and research into mental health.

Find out more about them here. 

Next Link

10 Mental Health Organisations for South Asians - Next link2

Next Link is part of the wider mental health organisation, Missing Link Mental Health Services. In general, they provide domestic abuse support services.

Next Link, however, also provide women’s mental health support services, and independent support for victims of rape and sexual abuse.

As they state, “Domestic Abuse is a major cause of homelessness for South Asian women.”

They’ve also identified that 35 is the average number of times a woman is assaulted before they call the police.”

In response to this, Next Link provides “crisis intervention to South Asian women and children who are experiencing domestic abuse.”

This includes offering “culturally sensitive support” for families to access legal and practical remedies for women and children undergoing domestic abuse.

Next Link’s feedback has shown them that this service “…has proven to be extremely successful at both supporting women and raising the issue of domestic abuse within South Asian communities.”

Find out more about them here.

Hopscotch

10 Mental Health Organisations for South Asians - hopscotch

Hopscotch imagines a society where all women are empowered, connected, well and safe, in order to achieve their full potential.

Within the realm of mental health organisations, their mission is all about giving rise to the voice of the woman.

Their key areas of focus include increasing employability skills for women, reducing the risk of gender-based violence and general health and wellbeing for women.

Find out more about them here.

The Black, African & Asian Therapy Network (BAATN)

10 Mental Health Organisations for South Asians - BAATN

The Black, African & Asian Therapy Network (BAATN) is “the UK’s largest independent organisation to specialise in working psychologically, informed by an understanding of intersectionality, with people who identify as Black, African, South Asian and Caribbean.”

Their primary focus is to support people from the above heritages. They are, however, open to supporting other people of colour who are affected by oppression and suffering due to “global white power”.

This mental health organisation is a shining  and well-needed example of intersecting ethnic diversities coming together to platform one another’s voices.

Find out more about them here.

Asian People’s Disability Alliance (APDA)

10 Mental Health Organisations for South Asians - APDA

The Asian People’s Disability Alliance (APDA) have provided culturally sensitive support and services to London’s disabled communities for over 30 years.

Operating since 1988, this mental health organisation offers “bespoke sensitive Day care and Home care support”, geared towards the disabled, elderly and other isolated people within Asian communities.

Find out more about them here.

South Asian Health Foundation (SAHF)

10 Mental Health Organisations for South Asians - SAHF

As mental health organisations go, it’s rare that there’s a focus on specific needs with ethnic communities.

Founded in 1999, the South Asian Health Foundation (SAHF) is a registered charity that seeks to “promote good health in the UK’s South Asian communities.”

As a mental health organisation, their focus is to provide support to those of South Asian origin, “who are experiencing conditions of sickness, hardship or distress”.

Their work comprises initiatives aimed at mental health in general, community engagement and diabetes and cardiovascular disease and healthcare in South Asians – where support for this has shown to be lacking.

Find out more about them here.

Asian Disability Network

10 Mental Health Organisations for South Asians - ADN

The Asian Disability Network is described as “a support platform around disability and how we navigate this with our ethnic and cultural identity.”

They’ve established that “disability has a greater sense of stigma amongst Asian communities.”

In response to this, their mental health organisation seeks to challenge this raise awareness for and of Asian communities with accessibility needs.

Find out more about them here.

Muslim Women’s Network

10 Mental Health Organisations for South Asians - MWN

Initiated in 2003, the Muslim Women’s Network seeks to “achieve an equal and just society through Islamic feminism.”

By gathering the experiences of Muslim women and girls, they envision “a society where Muslim women can have an effective voice and the opportunity to exercise their rights to contribute equally.”

Their work includes a national specialist faith and culturally sensitive helpline, confidential counselling services and an All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Muslim Women, which was launched virtually in October 2020.

Find out more about them here.

Cysters

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Initially starting as a social media page to vent frustrations, founder, Neelam Heera, formed Cysters in 2015 – “as a way to combat some of the misconceptions around reproductive health.”

Their aim is “to educate the public about reproductive health & education” and “challenge the cultural misogyny behind reproductive health.”

Cysters’ core values are Community, Collaborate, Care and Confidence.

Find out more about them here.

Club Kali

10 Mental Health Organisations for South Asians - club kali

Mental Health comes in a variety of forms – even through the simple freedom of dance and music!

Formed in 1995, Club Kali is described as the “World’s Biggest LGBT Community Celebrating our East to West Diversity with Unity & Pride”.

Created by two women, DJ Ritu and Rita, Club Kali continues to be a staple in the South Asian LGBT+ community – with their “unique and authentic” mixing of musicalities.

Through first-hand experience, it can be vouched for that safe spaces and celebration of intersectionality is at the heart of Club Kali‘s mission.

Though based in London, Club Kali continues to support the interests of all LGBTQ people, with their initiative spanning across the UK in cities such as Birmingham and Manchester too.

Find out more about them here.

These are just ten examples of the many mental health organisations you can look to for support, guidance and advice in whichever ways you need.

Do bear in mind that you can find help dedicated to South Asian demographics within existing mental health organisations too.

One example of this is with Rethink Mental Illness, who host a Young South Asian Support Group, named Reroute.

10 Mental Health Organisations for South Asians - Reroute

Their initiative is “dedicated to young South Asian women in their 20’s and 30’s who are suffering with any type of mental health condition.”

Based in Harrow (London, UK), Reroute takes place on the second Saturday of each month. This may be subject to change so you can email reroute2018@outlook.com to confirm future meeting dates/times.

Find out more about this here.

As the confidence of South Asian communities grows, when voicing matters ranging from gender identity to domestic abuse to homelessness, it’s my hope that the number of mental health organisations will grow too.

In the meantime, we hope you shall find one of these institutes helpful for any of your mental health needs.

Seema is a queer, fluid Valmiki artist, whose creative practice fuses digital media, writing and performance. Her motto is: “when you don’t fit in anywhere, you fit in everywhere.”

Images courtesy of the Instagram accounts of British Asian Trust, Hopscotch, The Black, African & Asian Therapy Network, Asian Disability Network, Muslim Women’s Network, Club Kali, Reroute and Cysters.