by Haris Yar Khan - Jalya Writer
What led you to become an RSW (registered social worker) and a mental health
I would say that the values of social work were instilled in me from an early age. My
parents were very active in the community, and they created an environment where
social justice and community development were openly discussed and engaged in. I
believe, that being exposed to volunteering, and various forms of political and social
activism shaped my who I am.
My path towards social work really started to take shape in high school when I started
contemplating a career in mental health and psychology. It was actually a high school
teacher who suggested exploring social work. I still remember her looking over the desk
at me and saying “You fight for causes not just individuals.” This always stuck with me.
As I continued by educational and professional career, I focused on helping individuals,
families and communities. I recognize the need to use a framework that incorporates
the larger context that impacts individuals and also the need for culturally sensitive and
responsive services. That’s what I try to do in my practice.
Your professional interest centers around “Mental Health, Cultural Humility and Social
Justice.” Could you explain those three interests and how you use them in your work?
For me, mental health wellness is essential for healthy human development and
experience. Yet it is something that we still struggle with acknowledging and accepting.
This is particularly salient in many minority communities.
This is why cultural humble/sensitive services are so crucial. In order to help bridge this
gap and increase awareness, individuals need to feel comfortable in seeking services.
Having a common cultural piece can help do this.
How and why did you create Revive Counselling?
The simple answer is out of need and passion.
Sadique Pathan (co-founder of Revive) and I were both working for the Primary Care
Network and we started talking about the need for mental health services in the Alberta
Muslim community. In addition, both Sadique and I have busy lives outside of work with
our families and community commitments. Sadique, of course also works with Islamic
Relief, so we found the concept of having our own practice and the flexibility that would
come with that very appealing. We are really able to cater our services to the clients sitting across from us. We feel that we can be agents of change in our clients lives
What is the most difficult aspect of operating and managing Revive Counselling?
I think when you enter into a helping field such as therapy one of the biggest challenges
is accepting your own limitations and maintaining boundaries. We want to be able to
help everyone but sometimes it’s just not possible. It’s is very hard to see anyone
Would you say you reached all of your goals since you started or do you have
more to achieve?
While I am happy with what I have achieved so far, I still have a lot more work to do.
Where can people learn more about Revive Counselling?
People can learn more about us on our website (www.revivecounselling.ca) and our
social media (Facebook and Instagram).