Penny Appeal’s Mini CEO, 11-year-old Shakira Rahman launched the MY (Muslim Youth) Helpline, providing listening and mental health support for young people between the ages of 11 to 24. The MY Helpline is a confidential and nonjudgmental service for young Muslims across the UK. It will provide faith and culturally sensitive support for any young Muslim facing challenges such as sexuality, family abuse, bullying and cultural or religious pressures, which affect many in modern British society.
Anyone who calls the MY Helpline will be put through to a fully trained and experienced practitioner, who will talk with each caller for as long as they wish. Practitioners will listen and support callers through the emotions they are experiencing, providing the necessary support. The MY service can also provide access to counsellors with Islamic knowledge (via email) within 48 hours. If needed, callers can be transferred to specialist organizations that can assist them with issues that require extra care.
The helpline’s team is headed by Hinna Zafar, a qualified counsellor in psychology.
Rahman said: “Setting up this youth line was one of my first ideas when I joined Penny Appeal. I have my mum to talk to about problems such as social media pressure, classroom bullying or body image worries. But many of my Muslim friends at school are too scared to talk to their families as they feel that they will not be understood. So I think that this line will be really helpful for my friends, and many girls and boys throughout the UK.”