Founder: Asha Iqbal
I fled abuse at the age of 30 years old! for over 20 years I had lived in a household where it was a toxic culture in where I had faced honour based violence and as a result I had struggled with anxiety, depression, I was self harming and suicidal but I had put a wall up and adapted to a classic poker face syndrome so that anyone who encountered me didn’t realise anything was wrong. This was mainly due to the stigma attached to mental health as I was so concerned about the label that I would be attached with if I was so open.
Since also fleeing abuse I had an additional issue of suffering with PTSD and I have shared my open and honest story with my followers on social media so to break down barriers and other victims and survivors of abuse will know they aren’t alone. When suffering from any sort of mental health issues, it can feel incredibly lonely especially if you’re living in a culture where there is stigma attached to it. This is why I formed Generation Reform as I felt there was a need to break down the different barriers faced by our many generations. Unfortunately one solution doesn’t work for every generation and this is so important to recognise. I know the importanceof how culture plays a part in getting mental health treatments and this is where services should be able to adapt to understand their service users and so many services and organisations fail this way.
I have a background of working with people from all ages that included young vulnerable girls being groomed, running peer pressure workshops to year 8/9 students, young offenders and to even working in a service that provides care to palliative patients. My varied experience has given me an insight into a wide variety of victims in difficult situations facing numerous mental health conditions. I want to put my experiences and my own personal experience into ensuring services are improved so as a society we can work towards better mental health.
Founded March 2017
Asha Iqbal is also an impactful public speaker who speaks upon her personal experience when delivering her speeches and draws upon what needs addressing and how this can be achieved.
As part of Generation Reform Asha also runs awareness and campaigns online, mainly on Twitter where her engagement is hitting 2 million per month consistently and she is making an impact on a wider basis through her honest and open conversations about mental health. She is a proud MQ mental health ambassador “It was a privilege to be asked to be part of the campaign, I had followed MQ’s journey when they did their celeb campaign! For me it was a no brainer and I said yes straight away! What they do is so important for orgs like myself as we rely on research to see where we need to make an impact but so much BME mental health research is lacking and this can be cruicial to getting funding for mental health projects. ”
For the first time in history Women’s health magazine covered a story that featured a culture crime and the mental health impact on it. I had been approached by Women’s health to be involved in their mental health campaign and it was an honour to be part of something that I grew up in reading and following. For me it was so important to be raising awareness in the publication that has a high women’s readership