Inspirited Minds

13 Mar 2024
Paige Cowan-Hall

Inspirited Minds

C3 Collaborating for Health part of a faith-based mental health programme for young Muslim women

Co-led by Professor Andy Jones, a public health academic with C3 Collaborating for Health. The University of Hertfordshire-led research team has won more than half a million in funding to evaluate a new faith-based mental health intervention aimed at supporting young Muslim women. The new, faith-based intervention is aimed at supporting young Muslim women in East London and Birmingham. The team, formed of researchers from the universities of Hertfordshire, East Anglia, Leeds and Birmingham City, plus representatives from the charities Inspirited Minds and C3 Collaborating for Health, were awarded the funding by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Public Health Research to fund the “IM-Adapted Trial”.

“At C3 Collaborating for Health, we work alongside communities to support them to lead healthier lives. We are passionate about improving the quality of evidence being generated around programmes that aim to improve health and wellbeing. Better evidence means we have a better idea of what works and why. This new study, which is a close collaboration between academia and the charity sector, shows how working together helps achieve that goal.” – Professor Andy Jones. 

Why this program?

This comes amid evidence of increased long-term depression among British Muslims compared to other minority ethnic populations. Long-term mental health conditions among young people continue to increase, with young women three times more likely to be affected than men. Research shows mental health issues affect minority ethnic populations differently, with evidence of increased long-term depression among Muslims compared to others. British Muslims are also less likely to access mental health services due to the belief that “many don’t understand or address their cultural needs.”

What the team will do

The study will explore whether a new mental health programme for young Muslim women aged 18-24 in Birmingham and East London can be successfully evaluated. The programme integrates culturally meaningful activities, such as reflecting on learnings from the Quran, into a mental health support programme, building on the one currently offered by the NHS.

While it is hoped that culturally tailored interventions could improve mental health and well-being if they are more meaningful to those needing them, evidence is needed on whether they work.

Project lead Professor Daksha Trivedi, Professor of Applied Health Research at the University of Hertfordshire, said:

“It is concerning that Muslims are under-referred to therapy services for mental health problems and show poor recovery rates compared to the general population.”

This has resulted in inequalities in mental health care and poor treatment for mental health problems.

“There is a clear unmet need for treatment that is greatest in underserved and ethnic minority communities, and many young Muslim women are struggling to get the right support. This study exploring a religiously tailored intervention will encourage young Muslims to discuss mental health and well-being and help-seeking behaviours.”

The Inspirited Minds (IM)-Adapted programme, IM-Adapted, is a faith-based, culturally adapted, peer support group intervention tailored to the specific needs of Muslim communities to help promote and improve mental health. The study will compare the IM programme with a typical mental health programme like that available on the NHS.

Researchers involved in the IM-Adapted trial are now encouraging young Muslim women, aged 18-24, from Birmingham and East London and seeking help for depression or low mood, to sign up to take part in this study.

Safiyah Khan, Counselling and Support Manager at Inspirited Minds, said: “At Inspirited Minds, we are passionate about building a society where people experiencing mental health challenges are validated and empowered to live fulfilling lives. This programme is attempting to do this by tailoring the support provided to the cultural needs of young Muslim women, a group where the stigma associated with poor mental health can be a real barrier to getting effective help. This research will provide important insights into how this new approach might work.”

Volunteers who take part in the IM-Adapted trial will not only help provide invaluable learnings for the study, but also have the opportunity to engage with a mental health programme delivered by trained Muslim therapists in Mosques and Community Centres.

Want to get involved?

Volunteers interested in taking part in the IM-Adapted study can contact

For more information, images or interview requests please contact the University of Hertfordshire Press Office on 01707 285770, Email: