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.
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.
2017 DoSAA Fellows Projects
- Bicultural Identity Conflict and South Asian International Students
- Immigrant South Asian Women in the United States
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
Devika Srivastava, Ph.D., Chair, received her doctorate in Counseling Psychology from Fordham University. She is an Assistant Professor at Baylor College of Medicine where she supervises Psychology Post-doc Fellows, Psychiatry residents, medical students, and psychiatric nurse students. She also serves as Staff Psychologist providing psychotherapy and assessment in the Consultation Liason service (patients with psychiatric and medical issues) at Ben Taub Hospital. She is also Co-financial office for AAPA and co-chair of the AAPA Committee on Policy and Legal Cases. Her interests include: Mental health policy, racial identity, multiculturalism, pain medicine, feminist psychology, mood disorders, and psychotic disorders. Devika is very passionate about systemic issues that have psychological impacts on South Asian Americans as well as to help advocate for cultural competency for these communities. She feels that DoSAA is her professional home and her aim is to help the division further satisfy its mission of community engagement as well as reaching out into different areas of practice and to better meet the needs of its members.
Pooja Mamidanna, M.A, M.S., Co- Chair, graduated from the California School of Professional Psychology with her M.A in Marriage and Family Therapy. Pooja currently works at the County of Santa Clara where she provides short-term individual and group therapy for uninsured/undocumented clients. Pooja also works part time in a private practice in San Francisco at Therapy Now SF. Pooja’s clinical experience includes substance use, crisis residential treatment facilities and community mental health outpatient clinics (children, adolescents, young adults, older adults and the elderly population).
Asha Unni, Chair-Elect, is a fifth-year doctoral student from Texas A&M University’s School Psychology program. She is currently completing her pre-doctoral psychology internship at the Illinois School Psychology Internship Consortium through the Stress and Trauma Treatment Center and Egyptian Public & Mental Health Department. Her research interests include racial and ethnic identity, South Asian mental health, racial and gender biases, and discrimination experiences. Her dissertation focuses on the perceived discrimination experiences of Asian Indian youth. Asha is excited to join the DoSAA executive committee to help promote awareness of DoSAA among other professional organizations and to connect members from all around the nation.
Nida Mirza, Psy.D., Communications Chair, received her doctorate in from the PGSP-Stanford Psy.D. Consortium and her undergraduate degree from Wellesley College. She currently works in private practice in San Francisco and Palo Alto, CA. Her areas of interest include multicultural and minority mental health, women’s health, stress, emotion regulation, evidence-based treatments, and telemedicine. She also has facilitates groups through the Women-in-Management Program at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and consulted with tech startup companies in Silicon Valley.
Kavita Pallod Sekhsaria, Psy.D., Co-Membership Chair, is a psychologist practicing in Maryland. She earned her Clinical Psychology Psy.D. at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Kavita’s dissertation was titled Hindu Indian American Conceptions of Mental Health, and she completed her doctoral internship at the University of Maryland Baltimore County’s Counseling Center, working in an integrated behavioral health model to best serve the students. Her areas of interest include psychoeducation and outreach as treatment and prevention, developing multicultural sensitivity, and working with couples and families. She is excited about working with DoSAA to help South Asians bridge the gap and access mental health treatment.
Ankita Nikalje, M.S., Co-Membership Chair, is a 4rd year Counseling Psychology student at Purdue University from Mumbai, India. Her research interests include exploring the mental health impact of internalized colonization and caste-based discrimination amongst South Asians.
Sruthi Swami, Student Representative, is a doctoral student at the University of California, Santa Barbara in the combined Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology program, school psych emphasis. Her research interests include literacy-related motivation and engagement in high school students and racial and ethnic disproportionalities in school discipline and mental health systems. She is currently researching the effects of school-based racism and discrimination on the wellbeing of Asian American high school students.