A COUNSELLOR specialising in ethnic minority clients is trying to challenge the stigma of receiving help for those in the Asian community.

Soolet Yasin is a mental health advocate and counsellor in Blackburn, where she seeks to help people particularly in the Asian community overcome many mental health related issues.

Ms Yasin, 47, runs Think Positive Counselling after experiencing hardships herself.

The mum-of-five said: “It took me until 2015 to complete my degree in psychology because of life challenges.

“I was very vulnerable and now I want to help other women in the community."

While attending a graduation event in 2015, Ms Yasin’s youngest daughter was being treated for stage four germ cell cancer.

Ms Yasin said: “It was like if I got through the tough times in my life – domestic violence – I could go through anything.

“Cancer is difficult, but as I became independent it just made me stronger day by day to cope with life even in tough times."

The brave mum, who was suffering from fibromyalgia, fought through every day and started to help women going through marriage troubles. Ms Yasin said: “People think about their extended family, but they are not in their marriage.

“I started sharing videos to Facebook about who I was and what I was doing.

“Counselling may not help those of different backgrounds due to a culture clash. People need someone to understand their culture and sympathise with them.

“There is a big barrier and I felt this when I had counselling myself.”

In 2001, the mum started a community group for women to talk about issues at the Nelson Community Centre.

It was volunteer work, but Ms Yasin was passionate about helping others talk about issues they faced and lift the taboo of seeking help.

Ms Yasin said: “Even recognising you have an emotional problem may be an alien concept. Even if someone feels they need to talk to someone outside their family or community, they may not know where to go."

The mum understands that some people in the Asian community may feel ashamed to admit psychological issues. People can contact Ms Yasin at soolet [email protected]