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Definition of terms:

Mental health: A state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.

Mental illness: Health conditions involving changes in emotion, thinking or behavior (or a combination of these). Mental illnesses are associated with distress and/or problems functioning in social, work or family activities.

It is crucial to understand that mental illnesses are not only the common disorders like depression, anxiety, OCD and bipolar. There are other mental disorders including learning disorders, personality disorders, eating disorders, sexual disorders, mood disorders among many others. It is thus important that none of us ignore any distress we are experiencing and seek help when we can. Parents have to look out for their children for any unusual behaviour, slow response in their learning or interaction or how they deal with difficult situations and take them for therapy in case of anything unsettling.

When should you seek help?

  • You feel an overwhelming and prolonged sense of helplessness and sadness, and your problems do not seem to get better despite your efforts and help from family and friends. 
  • You are finding it difficult to carry out everyday activities: for example, you are unable to concentrate on assignments at work, and your job performance is suffering as a result. 
  • You worry excessively, expect the worst or are constantly on edge.
  • You often find it difficult to sleep, nothing seems to calm you down and feel frustrated most times, sometimes for no apparent reason.
  • When you’re seeing/hearing unusual sounds that others are not.
  • When you experience a major shift in your life or a tragedy, for example war, abuse, an accident, marriage, divorce, violence, loss of a loved one, moving to a new country/city/school etc
  • Your actions are harmful to yourself or to others: for instance, you are drinking too much alcohol, have a temper, abusing drugs, becoming overly argumentative and aggressive think/plan on committing suicide.

Please note that these are but a few of the symptoms. There are many more and you may decide to research further on them.

Another important thing to note is that counselling/therapy is not only for those crazy or addicts. For a healthy lifestyle one should seek therapy even when they feel pretty much okay. Just like you would go for a physical check-up at the hospital, you should also go for a session for your mental health whenever possible. We all experience difficulties in life and it is not bad sometimes to have a safe space to just open up and release the stress.

How do I choose my provider?

Mental health providers like any other health professionals are different. Some have more experience than others. Some come from different backgrounds. Some are more qualified than others. Some have worked more with specific kind of clients (example: children, addicts, spouses etc). Some charge more than others. Seeing a therapist at a public hospital is mostly cheaper than seeing them in their private clinics/offices. Most importantly, their methods also differ. It is thus important to take your time to find out which mental health provider is appropriate for you.

Here are some of the questions you may ask:

  • Are you a licensed psychologist/coach/counsellor? How many years have you been practicing?
  • I have been feeling (anxious, tense, depressed, etc.) and I’m having problems (with my job, my marriage, eating, sleeping, etc.). What experience do you have helping people with these types of problems?
  • What are your areas of expertise — for example, working with children and families?
  • What kinds of treatments do you use, and have they been proven effective for dealing with my kind of problem or issue?
  • Do you incorporate Islamic principles, values, methods and techniques in your treatment plan (for your Muslim clients)?
  • Are your sessions strictly physical or do you also do virtual ones?
  • What are your fees per session? How is the payment process (can one pay weekly or monthly? Can one pay via Mpesa? Is there room for a discount?)

Wellness & Mental Health Providers:

Life Coach: A life coach is a type of wellness professional who helps people make progress in their lives in order to achieve their goals and attain greater fulfillment. Life coaches aid their clients in improving their relationships, careers, and day-to-day lives.

While working with a life coach may help you to deal with certain unresolved issues, life coaches cannot treat mood disorders, anxiety disorders, addiction, or any other mental health condition.

Counsellor: A counsellor is a mental health practitioner who gives guidance on personal or psychological problems. They mainly address clients’ emotional and relationship issues through talk therapy and skills development. They often work in school or career settings and private practice.

Counsellors can go by different titles depending on the type of education they received, the population of clients they work with, and the settings they practice in. Common examples are Licensed professional counsellor (LPC) and licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT).

Psychotherapist: A psychotherapist has specialized training in treating mental disorders. They use talk therapy to help people find better ways to cope with emotional issues and overcome unhealthy behaviors or thinking patterns. Psychotherapists can be psychiatrists or psychologists.

Psychologists: A psychologist is someone who studies the mind and behavior.  This profession actually encompasses a wide range of specialty areas including such things as animal research and organizational behavior.

The term psychologist can apply to people who:

  • Use psychological knowledge and research to solve problems, such as treating mental illnesses
  • Work as social scientists to conduct psychological research and teach at colleges or universities

Examples of psychologists include:

  • Counselling psychologist: A counselling psychologist helps people of all ages deal with emotional, social, developmental, and other life concerns using mostly psychotherapy (talk therapy). These professionals use a variety of strategies to help people manage behavioral issues, cope with stress, alleviate anxiety and distress, and deal with the issues associated with psychological disorders.

Take note that a counselling psychologist holds a higher qualification that a counsellor. As such, they primarily treat clients with serious mental health conditions than counsellors. 

  • Clinical Psychologist: A clinical psychologist assesses, diagnoses and treats individuals experiencing psychological distress and mental illness. They also perform psychotherapy and develop treatment plans. Clinical psychologists tend to focus on psychopathology (abnormal mental states) and thus often work in hospitals, mental health clinics, and private practice. They typically deal with clients experiencing more severe mental illnesses that counselling psychologists do. 

While clinical psychologists often work in medical settings, they are not physicians and in most cases cannot prescribe medications.

Psychiatrist: A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specializes in the treatment of mental disorders. Because psychiatrists hold a medical degree and are trained in the practice of psychiatry, they are one of the few professionals in the mental health field able to prescribe medications to treat mental health issues. Much like a general practice physician, a psychiatrist may perform physical exams and order diagnostic tests in addition to practicing psychotherapy.



Kindly take note that these are submitted names after a call-out I made on my social media platforms right after conducting a survey on ‘UNDERSTANDING THE PERCEPTIONS, ATTITUDES AND COPING MECHANISMS OF MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES AMONG MUSLIMS IN KENYA. Unfortunately, I was limited to providing full information about each one and there are also many more therapists/coaches out there that are not mentioned.

I also cannot verify anything more about them (than provided below) and will therefore not be responsible for anything beyond this article. I would therefore advise the client themselves to do their homework, ask the questions mentioned above and find the appropriate therapist/centre.

In case of any wrongly/missing written names/addresses or any short-coming, kindly pardon me and would appreciate a correction email: lubnah.abdulhalim@gmail.com

I pray that the information provided will be beneficial biidhnillah. Kindly share this post and subscribe to the blog below; you never know who might need it!

Dr Ilham Mohamed FarajPsychiatrist at Afya first medical centre/ Coast General Hospital
Spaki, Mombasa0721946477
Dr. Nabila AminConsultant psychiatrist at Chiromo hospital group
Dr. Neema ArakaPsychiatry resident at Mathari hospital/Psychotherapist & Life coach at FITAHI
Dr Husna Salim Ali
Psychiatrist at Mandera county referral hospital South C & Minaret Hospital South B
Dr Salwa Haithar
Consultant psychiatrist at Chiromo hospital groupLavington, Nairobi0797784446 (Clinic line)
Dr Janbibi Yusuf
Psychiatry RegistrarEldoret0707180531
Salma Bashir
Clinical psychologist at Health Source
Nyali, Mombasa0786477699
Wafiyyah HamidClinical psychologistMombasa0722425000  (Prefers SMS/Whatsapp to calls)
Mumtaz MohamedshafiClinical psychologist/psychotherapist/Art therapist/Play therapist etcMombasa0717408069
Soud Alli TengahClinical psychologistMombasa0114152081
Salma AhmedClinical psychologist (working with National Police Service Commission)
Riziki AhmedClinical psychologist at Hidaya Timeless Solutions
Nafisa Abass
Clinical psychologistNairobi0722492999
Halima Khalif
Clinical psychologistNairobi0732082869
Aysha Ali Hassan
Mohamed Said Athman
Psychotherapist/TrainerSouth C, Nairobi0796757074
Musa Mwale Kanenje
Nuru AminPsychotherapist/Psychologist/Ongoing MAMFT
Virtualtherapywithnuu. business.site  
Nana Ali MohamedSenior accredited counselling psychologist (KCPA registered) at Potreitz Subcounty/ Private practice at Kheiyrunnisaa Medical CenterMombasa0712820121
Saida Bukheit
Counselling psychologistMombasa0722662568
Nawal Mareai Al-Karbi 
Counselling psychologist/Child & play therapist (Women & Children only)Nyali, Mombasa0725202777 
Aisha Hassan (Munira)
Counselling psychologistNairobi0790398212
Khadija Hussein Abdow
Counselling psychologistNairobi0792612238
Rukia Mohamed
Counselling psychologist/General counsellorMachakos county within Nairobi Metropolis0723024017
Fawziya A. Hashil  
Counselling psychologist/TEAM CBT & mediator certification (on-going)Nairobi0769889359
Hamida Ahmed
Counselling psychologist & Wellness services/TrainerNairobi0718233759
Imaad Saleh
Counselling psychologist/Certified associate counsellorMombasa/Nairobi0736693525
Muslima Essak
Counselling psychologistFree Virtual during weekdaysmuslimaessak@   yahoo.com
Halima Abdalla Al-Harazi
Community counsellorTown centre, Mombasa+254104001211
Zeitun Juma

Counsellor at Amani Counselling/Freelance tooNairobi0727802749
Farhiya Yusuf Abdi
Counsellor (mostly young adults & teenagers) Virtual0792928988
Nusrat Mohammed
Mindset coach/Corporate wellness coachMombasa0708944883
Ilham Amin
Life & spiritual CoachVirtualilhaminated@ gmail.com
Ruwaida Abdulaziz Dohry
Life Coach & Islamic psychology counsellingVirtual appointments/scheduled appointments at masajids (At the moment, TSS)0756903506
Noor Counselling Centre
Guidance & Counselling institutionMombasa0739724234
Ta’alluful Quloob
Guidance & Counselling/Match making institutionMombasa0774222204/ 0111222205
Shariffa Centre
Family/Marital counselling institutionMombasa0722499986
Mewa Rehabilitation Centre
Rehabilitation & Counselling CentreMombasa0722819795/
Ruby Family Care Clinic
Mental health care (among other health services)Malindi0722523847
Family Resource Centre
Guidance & Counselling institution/Family servicesJamia Plaza, Nairobi0717767888
The Pearl Recovery
Addiction and Mental health recoveryAthi River0798756046





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It’s true that in this life you can never do everything alone, even the heroes and achievers we watch and see, at some point they need someone else to assist them in some way. The question though is, how much help can you ask for before it becomes unacceptable? How much asking is too much?

My brother and his friend have this sort of mantra which goes like, ‘You can’t ask prezzo for a sleepover.’ I mean, however close you are to the president, it just wouldn’t be right whenever you are in town you call him for a place to sleep right? What then happens when you desperately need him to sponsor your new project or maybe need his support when you vie for some political seat after you’ve used all your infinite chances asking for petty things? So whenever they are stranded and are thinking of ways out, they’d remind themselves that they should only ask for help from someone when it is ABSOLUTELY necessary. Wise move should I say?

This got me thinking; this is something most of us do without actually thinking. You know like you could be having this friend who is always willing to help you with anything. So you just over-do it with the say, ‘we are friends right? They signed up for this.’ So you go all the way from sending them to buy you that dress you saw at the mall to requesting for airtime to asking for loans to requesting for endless favours. But what happens when you suddenly lose your money and have no fare to get you home? Or when you are terribly sick with no enough money for medication? By this time, your dear loyal friend is exhausted by your endless requests. Who then do you turn to? Let’s face it; there is only so much one can handle. They will tolerate you for as long as they can but some day they’ll just say it out loud, ‘I quit!’ And trust me, friends like these, you lose them and that’s it. No one likes being used let alone being OVER-USED.

It’s the same thing when you decide to ask for an advance at work but the advance is for you to buy some latest smartphone. Or when you use up all your off days for petty stuff like attending a birthday party. What then happens when you need a day to go for a mega interview?

Maybe we should really look at every chance we get to be golden. As golden as the three wishes of Aladdin. Maybe every time we want to ask for something from someone we should ask ourselves, ‘If I just had three chances to make a wish to this same person, would this still be important or necessary?’ If you check, the wise people, whenever someone tells them, ‘I owe you one’ they never quickly jump in to say, ‘Buy me pizza then’ or ‘Buy me this attire’ or ‘Take me to this place’. They say, ‘I’ll save that chance for a better day.’ Because yes, some chances and opportunities don’t come back twice.

By the way, i’m sure you’ve heard or even done this yourself. There may be a time where someone asked you for help and you quickly rush to assist them because, ‘He has never asked for a favour before. This seems to be something very important to him.’ Unlike someone who keeps running to you for everything, you wouldn’t take them THAT seriously would you?

So yes, don’t always let your friend be the one to pay for your dinner. Sometimes be the one to pay for theirs. Don’t always be quick to ask for favours at the slightest problem you face. Don’t take people for granted by how much help they offer you. Don’t use people however much they love you. Friendship, family or any other kind of bond, it has to be two-way. So help so that you can be helped too. But it should be within limits because yes, too much of anything is unhealthy and sometimes, annoying! Of course i’m not saying you shouldn’t ask for small favours, we all do that from time to time. The point is; just don’t make it a habit, extreme and overboard! Time for me and you to change…

Because yes! Every chance is golden!


 By Lubnah Abdulhalim
Photo Courtesy: Salem_Beliegraphy
The word ‘need’ might as well be one of the most despicable words existing in the dictionary. Well, maybe not literally but we can say it is, hypothetically. Anything related to the word is often connected to misery, pain, agony or unhappiness. Whatever the need is; whether it is for food, water, money, shelter or anything else, there is no worse need than that of another human being. When need is attached to another human being, then there might as well be no other misery in this world than that.

Have you ever gone to ask for assistance from a person; it could be to ask for some money or help with an assignment or anything but once you get there, they will tell you to wait a moment. That moment may turn to minutes to hours and you are just seated there like a helpless sheep being extremely patient. Why? Because you are the one in need, so you have no option but endure all humiliation a person puts you through. After being kept there waiting for the whole day and maybe went without lunch, the person comes to you and asks you to come again the next day. That kind of game may go on for days before you finally get what you want. If you were hungry and it was food you were seeking, you might as well lack the appetite for the food anymore. By the end of it all, you are frustrated and humiliated beyond limits but you choose to swallow your pride and your personal dignity just because you are the one in need.

However much powerful one may be but once they are in need, arrogance often belongs to the satisfier of the need. It can be so annoying, agitating, irritating, frustrating how another human being can treat you like a puppet; “No, today I don’t have time to listen to your issue. Come next week.” And maybe at that moment, you’ve been going to the same person for the past two weeks. There has always been the option of just quitting and saying “I wont let another human being do this to me ever again” but being needy makes you weaker than you actually are. It makes you dependent; and being dependent is another miserable thing to live on.

Yet the most painful need is the need of affection from another. It is what messes up a person since they have attached all their happiness to this one person who may not even care for them as much as they do. It gives such kind of excruciating pain that may never heal. That kind of need; is like a basketball player that holds the ball in his/her little finger and swirls the ball with such expertize. The player is the satisfier of the need while you become the ball that is being controlled. You become as helpless as that ball and that player has power on what they want to do with you; whether to swirl and spin you in circles or drop you down or throw you from one hand to the other or simply kick you off.  It is like how a person can just come into your once peaceful life and mess around with your life like they are messing and playing with your hair. That kind of need is what has left most people dead of emotions; they are tired of need.

I always thought honesty should be made a must rule to be followed.  Lets keep it real and simple. You just be open and say, “hey buddy, so here’s the thing. I would really want to help you but I am sorry I can’t.” Or “Honestly, I don’t have sufficient time to teach you this. I think you’d better get someone else.” Or rather, “hey girl, I don’t want to play around with your feelings or to disrespect you…stop wasting your time on me.” It is undeniably true that the truth often hurts, but I believe its better you hit on point straight away so that the person in need knows how to sort themselves out. It’s not tasty to send a person up and down and in circles while you very well know you aint interested to help or offer what is expected of you. Believe me, all the blessings you were ever going to get by helping or assisting that needy person may all go to waste just because of the humiliation and suffering you made them go through before you finally gave them what they want. And if you are willing to help then do it with sincerity and without troubling the needy. Let’s learn how to be more compassionate. Today it may be me, him, or her who is need, tomorrow may be your day, who knows? After all, every dog has its day.