Qasim Aslam

  • Co-founder, The Safe Space
  • Pakistan

Impact area: Mental health; Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3

Qasim Aslam co-founded The Safe Space in 2021. The organization (a subsidiary of Beyond the Classroom) is a community of senior therapists in Pakistan who bring accountability and quality to the community of mental health practitioners around the country and work to create safe, inclusive spaces for mental health services.

“Adolescence is a period of significant socio-emotional development,” Qasim explains, “where individuals are exploring their identity, making their first major life decisions, and facing new cognitive and emotional challenges. Systems like schooling are designed to support and scaffold these growing experiences through mentorship, peer relations, and academic and extracurricular pursuits. Adaptive and protective measures for the pandemic (such as lockdowns and virtual school) have significantly disrupted or removed these necessary structures of support, growth, and well-being for adolescents. Without access to healthy coping mechanisms, there is an increased risk of anxiety, distress, frustration, and adjustment issues in this population. This project provides adolescents a place to process their emotions and learn skills to regulate difficult experiences like anxiety, frustration, pandemic grief, and fatigue.”

The Global Youth Resilency Fund will help Qasim and team accomplish the following goals:

  • Undertake 2 mental health awareness and skill-building sessions per school, engaging high school students from 5 schools.
  • 300 students undertake mental health awareness and skill-building sessions to process and regulate the distress created by the global pandemic and its multifold socio-emotional consequences.

Learn more about Qasim's work here.