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"My life is in order now. I feel the change in myself and feel more positive"

22 May 2023 - 10:53 by helen.walker

Yaran Northwest was set up in 2014. They are a bilingual team of community health workers, psychologists, therapists, and community connectors who are specialists in working with BAME communities. They have a well-established reach into the BAME community, deep cultural understanding, and a wide variety of skills in languages other than English, such as Farsi, Dari, Arabic, Urdu, Turkish and Kurdish. They have personal experience of immigration, dealing with mental health issues and being resilient. 

They have been supporting Abbas, a 21-year-old Arabic speaker seeking asylum. The client's name has been changed for the purposes of confidentiality, and we have his consent to share his story. 

Abbas has had his share of pain for his age. Yaran started working with him on self-care and adopting a healthy lifestyle, improving Abbas’s well-being and ensuring he surrounds himself with a support system. They used the Lifeline to describe his journey from his homeland to the UK, which was traumatising, full of fear, humiliation, hunger, human trafficking, slavery, and torture. However, Abbas was able to see the bright side; the hope, the good fortune that he made it alive here and met some supportive characters on the rocky road here. 

Abbas was able to process the unprocessed trauma and was able to face his suppressed feelings, he allowed himself to feel them and free them. Even though the experience of counselling made him feel extremely vulnerable, it was made slowly and at his pace. After that, Yaran witnessed a blossoming. They could see the relief, the growth, and the closer connection to himself and those around him. 

The feedback given by Abbas on their last session was: 

“My life is in order now. I feel the change in myself and feel more positive. The sessions have changed my life, and I have become more accepting and more optimistic. I sleep much better, with no overthinking, rumination, anger, anxiety, or constant waking up at night.”   

This (having good and deep sleep) makes him feel good during the day. Yaran asked Abbas what worked better for him, and he stated that it is the butterfly hugs, in which he imagines the picture of his mum (whom he lost at a very young age and couldn't remember her face) and regulates his emotions (imagining being in his safe place). Abbas stated that all strategies Yaran used around his traumas helped him to heal. He said “I could not believe I could talk with you in my language in the UK.” 

The best growth Yaran have seen is that Abbas sees himself achieving his goals, he has confidence in his capabilities and a desire to help others find theirs.    




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