Ayaat joined SHFT in July 2019 as Research Assistant for NIHR-HAT funded research into a culturally-adapted family intervention, a study sponsored by Manchester University. She has now recently taken up a new position as Research Facilitator and project coordinator for mental health portfolio studies.
Ayaat possesses a good first degree in British Psychological Society (BPS) accredited Social Science, a unique opportunity to explore psychology as a distinctive specialisation within Cardiff University School of Social Science, currently the only course of its type on offer in the UK. Ayaat achieved a First grade in her thesis exploring BAME students' higher education decision-making. Ethnicity, collectivism and a family discourse of values motivated BAME students’ educational success despite socioeconomic disadvantages. This was followed by a Masters (MSc) in Clinical and Abnormal Psychology from Swansea University, providing a higher level of understanding of the theory and practice of psychology within healthcare settings.
Ayaat was chosen to carry out a service evaluation for the ABMU NHS Health Board in Wales. A service evaluation that contributed and informed Manchester University’s Annual National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide (NCISH project). Three main themes included ‘warning signs’ such as the content of psychosis; clinical challenges faced by health service such as the apparent health improvements of discharged patients; and finally quality of service provision. Ayaat also gained some clinical experience as a psychology assistant in a medium-secure NHS forensic hospital in Bridgend where she was responsible for summarizing reports for MDT reviews. She also received NHS training in Cognitive Stimulation, ACE-3 MoCa Training and Life Story Work.
Prior to joining the SHFT team, Ayaat has worked 3 years as a bilingual learning support / teaching assistant for Newport City Councils' ethnic minority service for the most vulnerable children from different ages, cultures and communities across a number of schools. This included attending social skills and wellbeing groups. During this time she also worked as a community researcher contributing to a Welsh government research project exploring the employment and aspiration of refugees and asylum seekers (https://gov.wales/refugees-employment-and-skills-support-study). Ayaat also has three years voluntary work alongside South-Wales police.
Ayaat thoroughly enjoys research and appreciate it is not possible to progress in any field without its contribution, and forms an essential source of knowledge for a wide range of professions. She has yet to decide to pursue a career in research, clinical psychology or both!