“You are NOT ALONE”
A Phrase normally used by Basma Fakhri Al Said, Founder of Whispers of Serenity Clinic Located in Athiba, Muscat.
Basma was Born in the United Kingdom and majored in Mental Health in Jordan. She was then trained in Kings College and Harvard University before she had furthered her education in Australia where she held her Master's Degree in Clinical Counseling. Gained her work experience while Working in Sultan Qaboos University Hospital as a Clinical Counsellor for 11 years, Moreover, she is one of the first in this field to work there.
“I used to enjoy helping people since I was in school” Basma responses to her interest in such discipline, “regardless of the fact my father did not approve of it” she added.
Whispers of Serenity is the first mental health clinic that was founded by Basma and was introduced into the Omani Society in 2011. Basma mentions that it was always been a dream of hers to own a clinic, therefore, she has gathered all her training and experiences to have an open house clinic that has relaxing decorations, including having you in your comfort zone. Along with the colours used, words hanged over the walls of the clinic to welcome its comers, also the scent and music adds to the beautiful scenery.
The Clinic specializes in general psychology and psychiatry as well as life coaching. However, the clinic does not treat drug addiction for example for the lack of medical attention facilitation such condition might need. Yet they offer the after-rehabilitation program to integrate the patient back into the society.
Children with autism are also diagnosed within the clinic, with the help of Medical team member DR. Zakiya, as a result, the gap between mental and medical care is resolved in one place.
Workshops are mostly targeted clients to encourage group work, as well as it is a form of stress relief to participate in such activities. Most workshops are held under NOT ALONE, which is a mental health awareness campaign initiated by Basma in 2014 under the umbrella of Whispers of Serenity. The awareness also highlights the problems that are present in the society such as bullying etc, discussions are held within the clinic and normally they are scheduled events. Most importantly, the clinic hosts the biggest conventions every year during the month of October, where they shift the focus of women during women’s day which stands on the 17th of October and Mental Health Awareness Day Which is held on the 10th of October.
One of the greatest achievement as a mental health clinic is the mental health awareness local tour from Musandam to Salalah that was documented on social media, “because it’s important to interact with the person rather than to have them schedule phone call appointments to resolve their issues, and that’s the clinics goal” She mentions.
“Accepting the problem hasn’t been easy in this society given to the sensitivity of the topic and many factors such as negative reactions by a family member or any member of the society or it can also be an embarrassment. It is our job to introduce a potential story that may grab personal attention, and feel the comfort of knowing that it’s okay to talk about it.” She says. “And it’s important to know that you are not alone, and to move on, its okay to seek help.” She adds.