MY Voice got in contact with Brother Yaseen Poonah, founder of a revolutionary Muslim Youth Helpline, Naseeha. The following is the interview that took place. 

logo_foldedMYVoice:  What is Naseeha?

Naseeha Logo_Boxed_Positive copyYaseen Poonah:  Naseeha is a Muslim youth helpline that is toll free and confidential. It caters to Muslim youth across North America.

logo_foldedMV:  How long did it take you guys to get started up, and what hurdles did you face along the way?

Naseeha Logo_Boxed_Positive copyYP:  In 2005, you could not just start an organization overnight. It took quite a while especially because of training and legal issues because we were expected to get calls about suicide, and there were certain by-laws of how to handle that situation. We had to get all our counselors trained both psychologically and Islamically.

logo_foldedMV:  What type of calls do you guys get?

Naseeha Logo_Boxed_Positive copyYP:  We get a few calls about suicide, some about mental health, exam stress, and domestic violence.

logo_foldedMV:  What recognitions did Naseeha receive so far?

Naseeha Logo_Boxed_Positive copyYP:  We have been commended by Kids Help Phone Line, and I have been nominated for 40 most influential under 40.

logo_foldedMV:  What qualifications do you need to work at Naseeha?

Naseeha Logo_Boxed_Positive copyYP:  […] you have to be in between the ages of 18 and 28, have somewhat of a social service or psychological background, and have to be able to go through a 3 months training course.

logo_foldedMV:  From your calls, what type of situation do you think the Muslim community is in?

Naseeha Logo_Boxed_Positive copyYP:  […] we are a community that faces issues just like any other community. We have to erase the stigma that just because we are Muslim, we don’t face any other problems that a Canadian non-Muslim would face. Matter of fact, it only makes sense that Muslim youth would have more stress than a [non-Muslim] would, because they have to uphold the duties a Muslim has while staying in an environment that invites them to do everything against Islam. What I gather is that we need to focus in on these people, and make sure that there is help and that there is someone to listen on the other end who does not give any judgment whatsoever.

logo_foldedMV:  What advice do you have for someone contemplating suicide or depression?

Naseeha Logo_Boxed_Positive copyYP:  [The] first thing that they should know is that they are not alone. If they find that situation is so bad that it is beyond their control and tolerance level, they should let someone carry their burdens, and if they do not have that caring older sibling or parent, they need to call us, and we will try our best to link them up with someone within that age frame who has gone through the situation the person in need of help is going through. Then we advise them to let it all out, and even if we do not get through to them, at least they know there is someone who sincerely wants the best for them, which is actually the meaning of Naseeha; to sincerely well wish for a fellow man.

 May Allah accept Brother Yaseen Poonah’s efforts, and make Naseeha a means to help out many young Muslims.

 Naseeha’s phone number is 1-866-627-3342, and their website can be found at

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