Search

Archway mental health charity Maya Centre says #MeToo has sparked huge rise in women seeking its help

PUBLISHED: 11:18 11 May 2018 | UPDATED: 09:41 14 May 2018

Artwork created by clients at Maya for Mental Health Awareness Week.

Artwork created by clients at Maya for Mental Health Awareness Week.

Archant

The number of women contacting an Archway mental health charity to deal with the effects of abuse has almost doubled since the #MeToo movement began in October.

Tahera Aanchawan.Tahera Aanchawan.

The Maya Centre offers free counselling to women who have experienced trauma stemming from domestic violence, physical or sexual abuse, experiences of conflict, or FGM.

Ahead of Mental Health Awareness Week next week director Tahera Aanchawan told the Gazette the number of clients who self-refer has risen dramatically since the start of the worldwide movement against sexual harassment and assault.

She said: “It triggered people to say: ‘You know what? These people are coming forward – so can I. If it can happen to somebody like that, I no longer need to be ashamed.’

“It’s been very supportive.”

In 2016, 260 women walked through the doors at Maya. In the last year, 460 have. But Tahera says the benefits of helping more clients also means the charity needs more funding.

“We are very underfunded,” she said, “and are trying to make sure we are still meeting the needs of the women and not turning people away.

“A lot of other organisations have had to close their referrals so we have been very, very fortunate so far.”

The centre was formed in 1984 by a group of women with a feminist approach to therapy and counselling.

They felt traditional psychiatry wasn’t supporting them in addressing their mental health issues and wanted to have somewhere they could speak in comfort and not be judged, so they formed the Islington Women’s Counselling Centre (IWCC), as it was then known.

Initially a helpline was set up, and as the centre evolved the priority became helping the most disadvantaged women.

It now provides a space for women to come to terms with what has happened to them and learn healthier ways to relate to themselves and others through “psychodynamic counselling”, which focuses on the root of the trauma.

As part of Mental Health Awareness Week from Monday to Friday, the centre is launching its own social media campaign, #HelloStress, to shed light on the need to acknowledge stress as a symptom of trauma.

Tahera said: “Adding to pre-existing family and financial problems, the trauma our clients experience often results in chronic stress, pulling them into a cycle they find hard to break.”

To donate, visit mayacentre.org.uk.

Latest Islington News Stories

Finsbury Park has been stripped of its Green Flag status after a damning “mystery shopper” report by an environmental charity.

15:42

Police want to speak to this woman over £1,500 worth of damage to a minicab caused by two passengers.

11:58

It used to be the most polluted primary in Islington – now St John Evangelist is the first school to ban cars at pick-up and drop-off times.

10:23

Eastenders actor and Celebrity Masterchef winner John Partridge will be switching on the Archway Christmas lights.

Yesterday, 19:13

A 61-year-old man threatened to fetch his gun while arguing with a shopkeeper in King’s Cross Road on Sunday, it is claimed.

Yesterday, 18:22

A sports academy is offering free sessions to Islington children every Sunday morning at Market Road Football Pitches.

Yesterday, 17:02

A discount card supporting local independent businesses has expanded into Islington.

Yesterday, 15:39

Firefighters rescued a man from his bedsit above the Archway Tavern this morning after it went up in flames.

Promoted Content

Fostering older teenagers means giving them the skills for life as an adult. Here, a supportive lodgings carer with Islington Council and young adult who has left care share their stories

Newsletter Sign Up

Islington Gazette twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now