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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.

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MUSLIM WELLNESS AND MENTAL HEALTH PROVIDERS IN KENYA:

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!

NAMESPECIALITYLOCATIONCONTACT
Dr Ilham Mohamed FarajPsychiatrist at Afya first medical centre/ Coast General Hospital
Spaki, Mombasa0721946477
Dr. Nabila AminConsultant psychiatrist at Chiromo hospital group
Nairobi0111539296
Dr. Neema ArakaPsychiatry resident at Mathari hospital/Psychotherapist & Life coach at FITAHI
Nairobi0789707896
Dr Husna Salim Ali
Psychiatrist at Mandera county referral hospital South C & Minaret Hospital South B
Nairobi0716435530
Dr Salwa Haithar
Consultant psychiatrist at Chiromo hospital groupLavington, Nairobi0797784446 (Clinic line)
Dr Janbibi Yusuf
Psychiatry RegistrarEldoret0707180531
NAMESPECIALITYLOCATIONCONTACT
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)
Nairobi0727570097
Riziki AhmedClinical psychologist at Hidaya Timeless Solutions
Nairobi0722348753
Nafisa Abass
Clinical psychologistNairobi0722492999
Halima Khalif
Clinical psychologistNairobi0732082869
NAMESPECIALITYLOCATIONCONTACT
Aysha Ali Hassan
PsychotherapistMombasa0725215736
Mohamed Said Athman
Psychotherapist/TrainerSouth C, Nairobi0796757074
Musa Mwale Kanenje
PsychotherapistWestlands0722378665
Nuru AminPsychotherapist/Psychologist/Ongoing MAMFT
Virtualtherapywithnuu. business.site  
NAMESPECIALITYLOCATIONCONTACT
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
NAMESPECIALITYLOCATIONCONTACT
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
NAMESPECIALITYLOCATIONCONTACT
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
NAMESPECIALITYLOCATIONCONTACT
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/
0722677481
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

References:

https://www.verywellmind.com/

https://www.apa.org/topics/psychotherapy/choose-therapist?partner=nlm

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