South Asian Diaspora Community Healing Space

This group offers a place of connection and safety. Let’s come together, share what you’ve been going through, and receive support without judgement. This is not an information session about the pandemic. Open to all SFU students. 

What is South Asian Diaspora Community Healing Space?

South Asian Diaspora Community Healing Space is a support group for students who have cultural or personal ties to South Asia. The goal of the group is to provide a healing space for students who have cultural or personal ties to South Asia to connect with others and offer peer-to-peer support facilitated by HCS staff. Any students who self-identify as South Asian, have lived in South Asia, have family in South Asia, or have cultural ties or roots to South Asia are welcome.

Summer 2021 Schedule

May 26   7:00pm PST  Coping with the Impact of COVID-19 and Temporary Travel Restrictions
June 3 8:00am PST Supporting Your Community & Building a Sense of Belonging
June 8 7:30pm PST Embracing Your Identities
June 16 8:30am PST Cultural Perspectives on Mental Health

Note: Topics discussed within these sessions can activate a person’s emotional responses and you may feel grief, pain, anger, or sadness. If you find yourself in this position, we invite you to book an appointment with a counsellor or case manager with Health and Counselling Services by calling (778) 782-4615. SFU & FIC students can also access 24/7 counselling support through the My SSP app in multiple languages or over the phone by calling 1.844.451.9700 (Outside North America, dial 001.416.380.6578).

How does it work?

Each week, we will be discussing different topics relevant to the South Asian diaspora such as current economic challenges, COVID-19, temporary travel restrictions, Farmers protest, gender-based violence, family pressures, discrimination, mental health and cultural stigma, and self-care and coping strategies.

If you have any questions, please contact Jash at

Confidentiality note:

These drop-in sessions provide a safe, intimate space for sharing and learning. Please know that these sessions will not be recorded, and we will maintain confidentiality of all attendees. We ask that you do the same and honor the confidentiality of those in your session.

Where does this take place?

Sessions will be over Zoom.

How do I join? 

Please register by clicking below and registering through Eventbrite.

About the Facilitators

Harp Shergill

Harp is a Registered Social Worker and a graduate from the University of Toronto with a Masters in Social Work. She is passionate about creating a society based on equity, social harmony, mutual respect and human dignity; while addressing racial discrimination. She has several years of experience in the field of social work and health care and joined the Health & Counselling Team at SFU in 2019. As an Access Case Manager, Harp works closely with you to understand your individual needs so she can connect you with helpful and valuable resources. She wishes to ensure students are seen, heard and valued.

Sabdanaa Jeyakumaran

Sabdanaa is a Health Promotion Strategist who recently graduated from the University of Toronto with a Masters of Public Health and a specialization in Community Development and Global Health. She is a Sri Lankan Tamil Canadian who has experience working in Health Promotion developing, implementing, and evaluating well-being programs for equity-deserving communities. Sabdanaa is passionate about supporting the mental health and well-being of equity-deserving students.

Jashanpreet (Jash) Hans

Jash is a 4th year Psychology student at SFU working as a Special Projects Assistant with the SFU Health Promotion team. She is an Indian Punjabi Canadian and has experience running group community programming such as SFU’s Meet, Greet, and Eat sessions. Jash is passionate about representation and creating inclusive environments that promote the well-being of all students.

Aleisha Fernandes

Aleisha is a second generation Indian-Canadian. She is a SFU Health Peer Educator and a soon-to-be SFU alumna with a major in Health Sciences and minor in Kinesiology and certificate in Health Ethics. As a Health Peer Educator, she co-founded Chai Chats, a virtual peer support space for International students to connect and discuss topics related to health. Aleisha is passionate about mental health advocacy and issues related to social justice, especially gender and racial equity.

Additional Resources