About DoSAA

DoSAA is a community of students and professionals committed to understanding social, emotional, political, and personal influences affecting South Asians in psychology and creating a forum to impact change for the betterment of South Asian mental health. DoSAA intends to be a credible source of information and resources on South Asian mental health issues. Specifically, DoSAA spearheads efforts around:

  • Providing information on factors affecting South Asian mental health, ranging from broader concerns like immigration and acculturation to everyday issues like parenting and relationships.
  • Creating a nurturing space for mental health clinicians, researchers and students to engage in collaboration, consultation and mentorship.

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Contact DoSAA

Upcoming Events

  • DoSAA Summer Fellowship Program Showcase: Sunday October 8th, 2023 at 10 am – 11:30 am PST / 1 pm – 2:30 pm EST

 

For the most up-to-date information on DoSAA-hosted events, please sign up to become a member so you can receive emails on our listserv. You can also find updated information on our Instagram and Twitter (@dosaaonline).

Past Events

  • 9/24/23: DoSAA’s Inaugural Self-Care Retreat 
  • 6/7/23: Mindfulness Workshop
  • 6/10/23: Intro to Caste Workshop w/ Drs. Ankita Nikalje and Snehal Kumar
  • 1/20/23: Trauma of Caste: A Dalit Feminist Meditation on Survivorship, Healing, and Abolition w/ Thenmozhi Soundararajan in conversation with Ankita Nikalje, PhD
  • April – June 2022: DoSAA Needs Assessment Survey & Townhalls

Division News

Chat Chat: Self-Compassion during COVID (and difficult times) Reflections was held on 5/28/2020, as part of the AAPA Divisions Speak Series during AAPI Heritage and Mental Health Awareness Month.

DoSAA had a very powerful and valuable discussion between our amazing speakers: Ali Mattu, Ulash Thakore-Dunlap, and Rahul Sharma and co-facilitated by Asha Unni and DoSAA Chair Devika Srivastava.

DoSAA’s FIRST ever conference on Friday September 28, 2018 in NYC at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
The theme of the conference was “Raising South Asian Voices in Mental Health through Research, Practice, and Advocacy”.  The conference highlighted critical issues and mental health research focused on South Asian American populations while creating a forum to help foster change.  We hope to attract an audience of students, researchers, psychologists, MFT’s, social workers, and community members, and anyone concerned about South Asian American mental health.

DoSAA on July 8th, 2010 released a Statement in response to Time Magazine’s choice to publish “My Private India,” an opinion editorial piece by Joel Stein.

DoSAA on September 2011 were invited as guest bloggers by the South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) to explore “Anniversary Reactions: Mental Health After 9/11.” View the article at SAALT.

Summer Fellowship Program

The annual DoSAA Summer Fellowship Program (SFP) is geared towards graduate student members involved in mental health in any capacity (Ph.D., Psy.D., M.S., M.Ed., MFT, LSW, etc.) who have a passion and interest for South Asian/South Asian American mental health, including research among South Asian populations, leadership, and community building. Fellows will be paired with a mentor from the DoSAA community and will complete a small project related to South Asian American mental health. These projects may vary in issue or topic but will be used to further add to mental health resources for our South Asian American communities.

 

DoSAA membership is required for all participants. We will prioritize student applications of those experiencing challenges in seeking mentorship. This project will culminate in a final presentation via webinar during early Fall. 

 

Fellow’s Qualifications:

  • Currently a graduate student
  • Create and communicate 1-2 structured goals for mentorship focus.
  • Available to collaborate with their mentor via phone/virtual format ~ 2 – 4 hours/month for a total of at least 6 hours between program start and end dates.
  • Complete a specific/short summer project (as discussed and decided collaboratively with mentor)
  • Be available and willing to collaborate with other fellows (To engage in monthly fellowship calls and present their project via webinar in early Fall).

 

Mentor’s Qualifications:

  • We welcome both early-career (including associated/pre-licensed) and mid-career professionals who have completed their graduate training (Ph.D., Psy.D., M.S., M.Ed., MFT, LSW, etc.) to apply to be mentors. Early-career professionals may support fellows who are in the early stages of their graduate program (e.g., Year 1 Master’s student, Years 1 – 3 Doctoral student). 
  • New this year: We welcome graduate students in the late stages of their graduate programs to mentor incoming and early-stage graduate students
  • Willing to collaborate with a student fellow and commit to regular meetings via phone/virtual format (as agreed upon by mentor & mentee) for ~ 2-4 hours per month for the duration of the project.
  • Available to check in with the Program leads for updates on project progress and to receive guidance and support in mentorship of the fellow’s project. 
  • Able to support your mentee in creating 1-2 structured goals and brainstorm general topics that will support their research and growth. (We will help provide some general topics you can choose from in case you are unsure of what to focus on).
  • Be able and willing to provide mentorship to the student and support them in accessing resources to succeed in completing their summer project.
  • Open to communicating their expectations to the program leads and reach out to them if they can no longer commit to the expectations of the mentorship (life happens, just let us know as soon as you can).

 

Examples of Past Projects

Chai & Chat

DoSAA’s Chai & Chat series aims to provide a safe and welcoming space to foster dialogue and communication related to various topics related to South Asians and South Asian mental health. These events are meant to be informal and foster connection among DoSAA members. Bring a cup of chai/cha (or your beverage of choice) and join us for our next discussion! If you have any suggestions for future topics, please fill out this form. 

 

Past Chai & Chat discussions: 

  • 9/07/2022: Intimate Partner Violence in South Asian Communities
  • 11/02/2022: Let’s Talk Politics: Conversations Pre-Election Day
  • 2/08/2023: Navigating the Post-Holiday Blues: How Do You Have Fun?
  • 4/12/2023: Individuating from parents while still honoring family and culture: How to embrace your individuality while still honoring your heritage
  • 6/07/2023: Defining “self-care” from a collectivistic culture
  • 8/17/2023: Let’s talk about guilt!

Advanced Clinical Consultation Group - Ongoing

This reoccurring virtual group will focus on:

  • Clinical consultation for clinicians of South Asian descent who work with clients of South Asian descent
  • Consultation related to professional issues
  • Stories and themes related to South Asian and South Asian American culture, immigration, and experiences

 

Who can participate?

  • Licensed clinicians of South Asian descent
  • Postgraduate licensed interns of South Asian descent
  • Students and unlicensed interns are not eligible to join

 

Attendance at every meeting is not required, but you must register to attend. It is recommended that you are a DoSAA member as our dues allow events like these to be offered for free.

 

RSVP: https://forms.gle/bYq8dBQjcaFY8cQu6

DoSAA Advocacy

Resources

This is an ever-evolving list. If you have resources you would like shared on this page, please email us at dosaa.communication@aapaonline.org

DoSAA Executive Committee

Chair: Nida Mirza, PsyD

Dr. Nida Mirza (she/her) is a licensed clinical psychologist who works in private practice in the San Francisco Bay Area, providing psychotherapy services to adults from diverse backgrounds. She also works on content development and testing for the mobile mental health team at the VA’s National Center for PTSD. Dr. Mirza is serving her fifth year as a board member on the DoSAA Executive Committee and is an ad hoc reviewer for AAPA’s peer-reviewed academic journal, the Asian American Journal of Psychology. She also advises mental health tech startups in Silicon Valley by providing consultation about behavioral health, outreach strategy, and cultural humility.

 

Dr. Mirza is part of the adjunct clinical faculty at the Department of Psychiatry at Stanford School of Medicine. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship at Kaiser Permanente and her pre-doctoral internship at the Carson Center for Adults and Families. She obtained her doctoral degree in clinical psychology from the PGSP-Stanford Psy.D Consortium and her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Wellesley College.

Co-Chair: Rose Dhaliwal, PsyD

Dr. Rose Dhaliwal (she/her) recently completed her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (PsyD) from the University of La Verne, located in the greater Los Angeles area. She will be completing her postdoctoral hours at the Department of State Hospitals – Metropolitan, where her work will focus on providing treatment for patients who are involved in the justice system and have been adjudicated incompetent to stand trial. She grew up in San Jose, CA, and received her B.S. in Psychology, with a minor in philosophy, from Santa Clara University. After graduation, she worked in the public sector in San Jose for a few years, where her work focused on community engagement, public relations, and policy advising on education, youth, neighborhood services, and the environment. Dr. Dhaliwal’s research has focused on LGBTQ+ asylum seekers and the experiences of transgender and gender-expansive youth of color involved in legal systems. Her clinical training and interests are focused on transition-age youth in correctional and child welfare settings who have significant exposure to adverse childhood experiences.

 

As a child of immigrants from Punjab, Dr. Dhaliwal believes in the importance of understanding how bicultural identity and intersecting identities impact the lived experiences of communities of color. As Co-Chair, she aims to highlight these important topics to facilitate dialogue among DoSAA members and foster connections with organizations focusing on similar topics. In her spare time, Dr. Dhaliwal enjoys spending time with her loved ones, going on hikes with her Siberian Husky, dancing, and exploring new places.

Chair-Elect: Sonia Bajwa

Sonia Kaur Bajwa (she/they) has been a licensed clinical social worker since 2014 and is currently finishing her doctorate in counseling psychology. Interested in connecting with other desi mental health providers around the country, Sonia began volunteering with DoSAA in 2021 in support of the Community Issues Speaker Series and Summer Fellowship Program and continues to co-facilitate an advanced clinical consultation group. Since obtaining her MSW in 2009, Bajwa has worked in the behavioral health division at VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System and as an independent psychotherapist at a private psychiatric practice for several years. They have recently accepted a training coordinator position at University of Pittsburgh’s University Counseling Center after completing their internship at this location. Bajwa continues to enjoy clinical work at Pitt UCC while fostering cultural humility and clinical competence with master-level and doctoral-level trainees.

Secretary/Historian: Shilpa Reddy, Ph.D.

Shilpa Reddy, Ph.D. is the Mental Health Director for the VISN 21 Clinical Resource Hub, a Veteran Affairs (VA) virtual mental health team that serves Nevada, parts of California and the Pacific Islands. She completed her Postdoctoral Fellowship at the SFVAHCS with an emphasis on Psychosocial Rehabilitation, with experience working across a number of clinics and sections. She has experience in providing individual, couples and group interventions by TeleMental health (TMH) She has training in CBT, ACT, Emotion Focused Couple’s therapy and Cognitive processing therapy. Upon completing her post-doctoral training, she was faculty at the Felton Institute of Research and Training and where she provided virtual training and consultation to to community mental health professionals across California counties in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral therapy for psychosis.

Her experience over the last 20 years spans three different countries (U.S., India and Australia) and she brings a deep awareness of diversity issues that influence health and illness. In the past, Shilpa has served as the chair of the Mental Health Diversity Council ( SFVA) , chair of the psychology continuing education committee (SFVA), Assistant director of externship training (SFVA), board member of the San Francisco Psychological Association as Diversity Committee chair and Local Advocacy Network Chair. She currently serves on the executive committee as secretary of the Asian American Psychological Association’s Division of South Asian Americans (DoSAA). Outside of her work, Shilpa enjoys spending time with family and friends, going on long walks with her dog, hiking around the many trails in San Francisco, travelling, dancing and reading.

Student Representative: Rebecca Miah, MPH

Rebecca Miah, MPH, is a second year Clinical Psychology doctoral student at the California School of Professional Psychology. Originally from Detroit, she attended the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biopsychology and Cognitive Neuroscience. Her interest in health beyond the physical body led her to obtain a master’s degree in Public Health from Emory University in Atlanta, GA where she focused on Global Health with a concentration in Community Health and Development. She then moved to Philadelphia to work at the Department of Public Health specializing in Bioterrorism and Public Health Preparedness, frequently liaising with local and state governmental agencies. Most recently she worked at a nonprofit global health and disaster relief organization called Americares and utilized her knowledge in emergency preparedness to develop an expertise in climate change and disaster resilience. Working within disaster response, she recognized the importance of disaster mental health and addressing the long-term effects of (often recurring) trauma and stress faced by survivors, first responders, and the community. The exacerbation of climate-related health impacts along with the increase in rates of eco-anxiety, or the chronic fear of environmental doom, prompted her current pursuit of a PsyD at Alliant International University in San Francisco.

Finance Officer/Treasurer: Dr. Mandeep Tumber-Bhela

Dr. Mandeep Tumber-Bhela (she/her) is a licensed Clinical Psychologist who works within a telehealth private practice and the Kaiser Permanente Counseling Center. She identifies as a Punjabi/Indian-American, Sikh, cis-gender, tri-lingual (Punjabi, English, Hindi), immigrant, female, and mother with a goal of increasing awareness related to Mental Health within communities of color.  She attempts to bridge gaps in care through training, research, serving the general population within the contexts of therapy/assessment and Physician Wellness resiliency care.

 

Dr. Tumber-Bhela received her Bachelor’s degree at the University of Washington, Tacoma and her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Palo Alto University (previously known as Pacific Graduate School of Psychology) in 2014 with an emphasis in health psychology. She completed her dissertation on the relationship between bicultural identity integration, maladaptive parental styles and depression among immigrant adults. Dr. Tumber-Bhela completed her clinical pre-doctoral internship at Kaiser Permanente, Fresno (APA-accredited) and a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Psychiatry in Adult Services at Kaiser Permanente, Roseville. Dr. Tumber-Bhela is deeply committed to teaching, recruitment and retention practices related to health professions, specifically within the context of equity, inclusion and diversity. Her current role at Kaiser Permanente includes clinical supervision of Masters and Doctoral level mental health providers, as well as management of staff within the clinic. She previously served as Diversity Chair for the Sacramento Valley Psychological Association, as well as Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity Liaison (one of two) for the Northern California Kaiser Permanente Mental Health Training Programs. Please feel free to connect with me at mandeeptumberbhela@gmail.com or www.drtumberbhela.com.

Membership Chair: Rohan Arcot, M.S.

Rohan Arcot (he/him) is a second-year PhD student in Counseling Psychology at Boston University. He holds a M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Johns Hopkins University (JHU), a B.A. in psychology from Hamilton College, and is a Nationally Certified Counselor. He works as a research team member in the ARISE lab and for the Center for Character and Social Responsibility. He previously worked as a teaching assistant at JHU and lab manager for the SPIEE lab. His research interests include Asian American mental health, culturally sensitive therapeutic treatments, positive psychology, anti-racism, and multicultural counseling training. He is an avid sports fan and loves to bake. You can contact him at rarcot@bu.edu.

Communications Chair: Brahmpreet Kaur

Brahmpreet Kaur (she/her) is a researcher, mental health advocate, and a graduate student. She received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Biology from Virginia Commonwealth University. Since her graduation, she has worked with the Mazzeo Research Lab at Virginia Commonwealth University. Her current research project centers around adapting existing diagnostic tools for South Asian Women. Her research interests include modifying approaches to assessment, prevention, and treatment of mental health conditions of racial and ethnic minority populations with a particular focus on South Asian communities. Currently, she serves on the executive committee as the communication chair of the Asian American Psychological Association’s Division of South Asian Americans (DoSAA). Outside of work, she enjoys reading, going on hikes, listening to music, and traveling. Please feel free to connect with Brahmpreet Kaur at Kaurb2@vcu.edu.