Cross-Cultural Mental Health: Research and Practice Forum

2023, Health, Community Building, Engage in Global Challenges, Make a Difference for B.C.

This event featured a partnered research project led by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) that developed and evaluated Culturally Adapted Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to improve community mental health services for Canadians of South Asian origin. Dr. Farooq Naeem, Clinician Scientist and Principal Investigator, provided a keynote address.

The keynote was followed by a networking poster and showcase session. Posters included graduate research and practice explorations in cross-cultural mental health care. Showcase booths featured community initiatives, programs, and organizations that work with diverse communities to support mental health and wellness.

The event was capped off with a facilitated panel discussion to further explore innovations, opportunities, and challenges in culturally responsive mental health care for equity deserving communities. 

Fri, 05 May 2023

In-person event hosted at the SFU Surrey Campus on University Drive (SYRE)


Keynote speaker

Dr. Farooq Naeem

Dr. Farooq Naeem is a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto and a psychiatrist at the Centre for Addiction & Mental Health.

Farooq pioneered techniques for culturally adapting cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT). These techniques have been used to adapt CBT in South Asia, North Africa, Middle East, Kenya and China. Most recently, this methodology has been used to culturally adapt and evaluate CBT for South Asians in Canada. His significant contribution in implementation science is establishing a national organization to train and accredit CBT therapists, deliver therapy, promote research and educate the general public - the Pakistan Association of Cognitive Therapists. This remains the only example of national implementation of CBT in a low-income country.

For more information on Dr. Farooq and his work, please see follow this link


Tania Bakas

Tania Bakas is a graduate student at Simon Fraser University, defending her Master’s thesis in Counselling Psychology this term. Her research focuses on how genocide perpetrators/ex-prisoners, from the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, make meaning of their lives as they engage in the process of action-based psychosocial reconciliation with survivors.

Recent coordination work for the North Shore Committee to End Violence Against Women in Relationships focused on responding to and addressing gender-based violence. Currently, in her counselling practice she specializes in trauma therapy for relationship and family violence, intergenerational trauma, and childhood abuse and neglect. She particularly enjoys developing innovative streams for accessing therapy and psychoeducation through an intersectional lens, such as therapeutic book clubs and support groups for underserved populations.

Jshandeep Jassal

Jshandeep (she/her) is the co-founder of Let Her Talk, the South Asian Healing Network, GenConnect, and a co-director of Solid State Community Industries. She is also a Master's student at UVic's program of Child, Youth, Family, & Community Studies, hoping to increase awareness of the needs of South Asian youth specifically by increasing culturally responsive care while decreasing colonial or racist approaches. She is passionate about doing work in areas where she has lived expertise, and believes it is important to participate in self-healing when you work in fields of care or nurturing others.

Dr. Masahiro Minami

Dr. Masahiro Minami is an associate professor in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University. His area of specialization is implementation science and mental health services research in post-war, conflict, and genocide environments. He is involved in several grant-funded projects aimed at improving access to mental health services in Bosnia & Herzegovina, Canada, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Rwanda, and the UK.

Heather Lynch

Of West African origin and Jamaican heritage, Heather Lynch is a first generation Canadian born that was raised in the Lower Mainland. She completed her Criminology Degree at Simon Fraser University and obtained her Masters in Leadership at Royal Roads University. A priority for Heather is spending quality time with her husband of 18 years and her spicy yet comedic 16-year-old daughter. Options Community Services Society (OCS) has been Heather’s place of employment for the past thirty years and in her role as Senior Manager, she coaches compassionate care teams in the Youth Services Division, Clinical Counselling Department, and the Fraser Health Crisis Line. Prior to her work with OCS, Heather was employed in the Mental Health field at two former Provincial institutional facilities.  Coming from a family line of social justice warriors, Heather is passionate about promoting equitable practices, encouraging healthy work cultures, and fostering inclusion for all. You can find her experiences published in news articles and magazines of being the ‘only’ black person at tables and her learning lessons on the importance of belonging.

Dr. Nancy Clark

Dr. Clark is an assistant professor at the Faculty of Human and Social Development, School of Nursing at the University of Victoria, British Columbia. Dr. Clark is an alumna of the Liu Institute for Global Issues at UBC and Intersections in Mental Health and Addiction Research Training with Canadian Institute of Health Research. Dr. Clark’s research is informed by social justice, intersectionality, inclusion of patient population groups in mental health research, with special focus on immigrant, refugee, ethno-cultural racialized groups and equity-oriented health policy. Critical ethnographic and community based participatory action research methods are used in her work with structurally vulnerable groups, including groups affected by displacement and intersections of social determinants of mental health conditions. Dr. Clark is also an affiliated researcher University of British Columbia, (UBC) Research Excellence Cluster in Migration.

Event video

Further reading

Event partners


SRYE Building at SFU Surrey Campus

This event took place at the new SRYE building at the SFU Surrey Campus (10285 University Drive Surrey, BC V3T 4B7), located across the street from the original campus building at Central City. There are accessible washrooms located on all floors of the building and all floors within the building are serviced by elevators. 

Visitor Parking

Central City Mall parking is for retail shoppers only. SFU visitors are not permitted to use mall parking. There are other paid parking lots in the vicinity of SFU Surrey available for visitors. These lots are public and SFU takes no responsibility for these lots.


SFU Surrey is located close to the Surrey Central Skytrain station and is accessible by a number of busses and Park and Ride options. Visit the Translink website for routes and schedules.

Visit the SFU Surrey website to learn more.