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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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.

Division Executive Committee

Chair: Sruthi Swami, M.Ed., Ph.D., NCSP

Sruthi Swami is an Assistant Professor in the School Psychology Master’s program at California State University, Fresno. She received her M.Ed. and Ph.D. in Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology, School Psychology emphasis, from the University of California, Santa Barbara in June of 2020. She recently completed her pre-doctoral clinical internship with the Dallas Independent School District where she provided school-based mental health services to K-12 students and provided family and individual therapy at the mental health clinics attached to the school district. Her clinical interests include school-based mental health services for students in K – 12, specifically those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and students with anxiety, depression, Autism, and ADHD. She also has experience providing assessments and implementing interventions for students who qualify for Special Education services. Her research interests include racism and ethnic disproportionality in school systems (education, discipline, juvenile justice), school climate, early literacy assessment and intervention, early literacy practices, motivation and engagement, mental health and special education in schools, and Asian American mental health. Feel free to contact her at sswami@csufresno.edu.

Co-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 fourth 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 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.

Chair-Elect: Rose Dhaliwal, MS

Rose Dhaliwal (she/her) is a 4th-year Clinical Psychology Doctoral Candidate (PsyD) at the University of La Verne, located in the greater Los Angeles area. 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. In her doctorate program, Rose’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, Rose believes in the importance of understanding how bicultural identity and intersecting identities impact the lived experiences of communities of color. As Chair-Elect, 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, Rose enjoys spending time with her loved ones, going on hikes with her dog, dancing, and exploring new places.

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: Himadhari Sharma

Himadhari Sharma is a 4th year Counseling, Clinical, and School psychology doctoral candidate, with an emphasis in Counseling Psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, working with Dr. Andrés Consoli. She grew up in the Twin Cities, Minnesota, and received an undergraduate in business with a specialization in marketing from the University of Minnesota (Go Gophers!). After which she worked in the healthcare service industry and was part of the board of directors for a non-profit reproductive and mental health clinic. She completed her master’s in psychology with an emphasis in clinical psychology from New York University (NYU). There she worked on research in the realm of hearing voices, looking at various topics, such as stigma, within the general population, and gained experience in an intensive outpatient clinic for eating disorders. She has had international experience as well through her work with multiple organizations in Bangalore, India. Her current interests include multicultural psychology, access and utilization of mental health services among minoritized populations (especially South Asian communities), cross-cultural/international psychology, culturally salient and indigenous treatment/therapy methods as well as bi-lingual psychological services (Hindi/Urdu-English).

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 Department of Psychiatry in Adult Services at Kaiser Permanente, Roseville (CA). 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. She currently serves 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: Pratima Pathania, M.S.

Pratima Pathania, M.S., Membership Chair, is a 5th year PsyD student at the Wright Institute and currently doing her internship at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, CA. Her areas of interest include multicultural and social justice oriented work with marginalized communities, especially in hospital and medical settings.

Communications Chair: Geetanjali Vij, MA

Geetanjali Vij, MA is a pre-licensed mental health clinician providing clinical and school-based services in the San Francisco Bay Area. A 1.5 generation Punjabi American cis-gender woman and bay area native, Geetanjali enjoys working with local organizations to provide psychoeducational workshops and resources to the community (adults, adolescents and families).
Geetanjali completed her pre-masters clinical practicum with the Boston Public Schools district where she provided school-based mental health services to a high school-aged population (individual, family and group therapy). She obtained her master’s degree in mental health counseling with a certificate in positive youth development from Boston College in Chestnut Hill, MA. She completed her Bachelor’s degree at the University of California, Davis in Middle East/South Asia Studies. Her interests include Indian folk & film music, bullet journaling, and cooking. She is fluent in Punjabi and Hindi/Urdu.