Five Leicester consultant psychiatrists are at the forefront of a national initiative to support people who are unable to speak English to maintain positive mental health through Covid-19.

The medics, who all work for Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust* (LPT) have recorded multilingual self-help messages for the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

They feature in a suite of five short videos giving advice about staying active, maintaining family contact and stress-reducing exercise and activities.

Debsis Das (first) has recorded a message in Bengali for the Royal College of Psychiatrists. Rahat Ghafoor (second) has recorded the same message in Pashto, Haroula Konstantinidou (third) has done the same in Greek, Imran Malik (fourth) in Punjabi and Suneeta James (fifth) in Malayalam.

The short messages advise members of the public/patients to take daily, socially-distanced exercise, to maintain social contact with families and friends, to consider taking up new hobbies, and to try deep breathing or muscle-relaxing techniques to reduce stress. One of the messages also suggests limiting exposure to news and social media if you are feeling anxious.

Dr Malik said: “I have been an executive member of the college’s Transcultural Special Interest committee for several years, and have been involved in arranging annual conferences for the committee. An initiative was taken by the chair of the committee who had asked for the executive members to help. The college provided the written message which it wanted us to translate into various languages and deliver as video messages.”

The consultants were asked to take part in the initiative by Dr Fabida Aria, a fellow LPT consultant psychiatrist who is also a senior member of the college’s Transcultural Special Interest committee. Dr Fabida realised that the diverse background of LPT’s senior medical staff could be a source of support and expertise for many different communities.

Other consultants have recorded the message in Arabic, Gujarati, Urdu, Marathi, Romanian, Cantonese, Yoruba, Spanish, Hausa, Mandarin, and in English (to see all, go to the Royal College of Psychiatry’s website:

Please share these videos with non-English speaking members of your community. For more information and advice on looking after your emotional wellbeing during the pandemic please visit:

*Dr. Imran Malik left LPT on 01 June 2020.