South Asian Mental Health & Wellness Community Forum

Are you interested in tips and tools on how to stay happy and healthy?

Are you looking for a place to learn about mental health and wellness?

Are you seeking support, guidance, or community connection to talk about mental illness?

Join us for:
South Asian Mental Health Community Forum 2014
North America’s foremost event on South Asian mental health, wellness & illness.

Saturday May 24th and Sunday May 25th
10am to 3:15pm both days (Doors open at 9am)


Workshops on wellness:
– Meditation and Mindfulness
– Yoga
– Myths & Medication
– Counselling & Therapy
– Nutrition & Exercise

Presentations on the most prevalent mental illnesses:
– Depression & Bipolar Disorder
– Anxiety Disorder
– Substance Use / Addiction / Alcoholism
– and more

Resources and information in English, Punjabi, Hindi & Urdu!

FREE event, open to the whole family!

Lunch and refreshments provided!

Location: Princess Margaret Secondary School
12870 72nd Ave, Surrey, BC

Main Sponsor: Vancouver Fraserview Rotary Club

Media Sponsors: RedFM and OMNI TV

SAMHAA Interview on The Harpreet Singh Show

Please view & share this interview from the Harpreet Singh Show on Joytv

In this interview:
– What are unique issues faced by the South Asian community in accessing mental health support?
– What resources are available in the South Asian community for mental health?
– What is happening at the South Asian Mental Health & Wellness Community Forum on May 24 & 25?
– What kind of work does SAMHAA do?
– How can people get involved / get in touch with SAMHAA?

REGISTER TODAY for the South Asian Mental Health & Wellness Community Forum at

FREE admission, FREE lunch & refreshments. Open to everyone. Workshops & lectures in English & Punjabi.

Thank you to The Harpreet Singh Show:

SAMHAA Multimedia Project

A part of SAMHAA’s mandate is to raise awareness and inspire action around mental health in the South Asian community. A major tool to engage in this effort is electronic media, specifically videos. The Vancouver Fraserview Rotary Club has generously contributed to SAMHAA’s mission with a grant to develop a video-based mental health awareness campaign.

We will be creating videos in which professionals, community leaders, and families affected by mental illness will share information and insights. The video subjects will include general mental health, community mental health, depression, anxiety and substance abuse.

We are seeking your help in the following ways:
1) Donation of a venue (board room or office space) to conduct video recordings.
2) Mental health professionals and community leaders willing to speak on video.
3) Adults, parents, teachers, youth willing to speak on video about mental health (some conditions may apply).
4) Financial or in-kind donations of materials that may be necessary (please contact for details).
5) Volunteers willing to offer their time and expertise to help in the development and promotion of the videos (please inform us of your skills & interests).

If you are interested in being a part of this groundbreaking project, please send your name, phone number and personal introduction to

The project is taking place in Vancouver & Surrey, BC but there are many ways for individuals from anywhere to contribute.

Please share this post on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc. and kindly forward this info to anyone who may be interested.

South Asian Youth Mental Health Forum

In partnership with Surrey Schools, SAMHAA (South Asian Mental Health Alliance) invites you to an evening of inspiration, dialogue, and learning.

– Introductory Keynote by a Mental Health Professional
In this talk you will have the opportunity to learn about youth-related issues, and how peers, teachers and parents can support individuals with mental health challenges.
– Breakout Session
This group session will be lead by SAMHAA’s very own Youth Ambassador Team, with support from SAMHAA volunteers, to help you gain a more in-depth understanding of a specific mental illness.
– Panel Discussion
You will have the opportunity to hear personal stories from individuals who have overcome challenges with mental illness, ask them questions, and share your own insights.

All youth, as well as parents and teachers, are invited to attend to attend our first South Asian Youth Mental Health Forum.

5:30-8:30pm on Wednesday, June 12th
at Tamanawis Secondary School, Surrey.

The event is geared towards youth aged 13 through 24, but everyone is welcome to attend, free of charge. Refreshments will be provided.

PLEASE RSVP by registering here, or by emailing


Thank you!


The 2011 South Asian Community Conference was an outstanding success! Hundreds of people from all walks of life filled the Queen Elizabeth Secondary School gymnaniums for engaging and informative workshops on mental health issues. A group of 12 coordinators, 10 speakers and 90 volunteers worked to bring the message of hope and inspiration to the community and many left with a newfound confidence in talking about mental illness and helping others in their lives. Photos, videos and press release will go up soon!

SAMHAA would like to recognize the generous contributions of:

Dr. Shimi Kang, Dr. Gulzar Cheema, Dr. Jas Bhopal, Ms. Arvinder Grewal, Dr. Rajpal Singh, Dr. HaFeez Mian, Dr. Poonam Tangri, Dr. Nirmal Kang, Dr. Arvind Kang, Dr. Suman Kollipara, Ms. Babeeta Chhabra & Dr. Raminder Pal Singh Kang.

CMHA Simon Fraser, Bounce Back Program, Sources Community Resource Centres, MOSAIC, DIVERSEcity, PICS, Options BC, Realistic Recovery Success Society, Richmond Addictions, F.O.R.C.E. Society for Kids’ Mental Health, and Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre.

BC Mental Health Foundation, Rotary Club of Vancouver-Fraserview, Source Community Resource Centres, Surrey Schools (SD36), Radio Shere-E-Punjab 1550AM, OMNI TV, Gateway Pizza & Catering, Rightaway Party and Tent Rentals, Goldmine Insurance, Verka Foods, Gagan Foods, and Sabzi Mandi.

Minister Michael de Jong, MLA Jagrup Brar, MP Jasbir Sandhu, Peter LeBlanc, Merlin Chatwin, and Karen Sekhon.

Special Thanks to all of our loyal volunteers – may you create the footsteps in which others will follow; may you lead the way to a
better tomorrow; and may you enjoy peace and prosperity while making the world a better place.

Conference Schedule

SAMHAA poster

October 22 Schedule:
9:00am – Doors Open (Tea, Registration)
10:00am – Welcome & Opening Keynote (Dr. Shimi Kang)
11:00am – Main Session: Depression (Dr. Jas Bhopal & Dr. Rajpal Singh)
12:00pm – Breakout Sessions:
– ADHD (Dr. HaFeez Mian)
– Psychosis
1:00pm – Complimentary Lunch and Exhibition
2:00pm – Main Session: Substance Abuse (Ms. Arvinder Grewal & Dr. Shimi Kang)
3:00pm – Breakout Sessions:
– Dementia (Dr. Arvind Kang)
– Anxiety Disorder (Dr. Poonam Tangri)
4:00pm – Closing Keynote (Dr. Gulzar Cheema)
4:30pm – Open Floor Q&A and Exhibition

Register Now:

Volunteer Recruitment

Thank you to the 25 amazing volunteers who came out for our first SAMHAA Volunteer orientation on Thursday, October 6th. Such an inspiring group of passionate and sincere people, from all walks of life, wanting to make a difference. Together, we can heal our minds, our families, and our communities and make the world a better place.

Want to volunteer with SAMHAA? You can still join SAMHAA as a volunteer to help with our upcoming conference on October 22nd, or to help with other upcoming mental health workshops. Our next orientation will take place this Saturday, October 15th. To register, please visit

South Asian Mental Health

News Release: Inaugural South Asian Mental Health Community Conference


Inaugural South Asian Mental Health Community Conference – Raising Awareness, Fighting Stigma, Building Connections for a Healthy Community

VANCOUVER, BC, September 28, 2011 – The inaugural South Asian Mental Health Community Conference, hosted by South Asian Mental Health Alliance (SAMHAA) Society, will be the first event of its kind, bringing together multidisciplinary professionals, agencies, and community members. The event aims to reduce stigma and misconceptions around mental health issues, and facilitate education and discussion within the community.

SAMHAA, meaning “time & circumstances” in Punjabi & Hindi, is a BC non-profit society founded in January, 2011 to build bridges between those affected by mental health issues, advocates, and resource providers through ongoing outreach, advocacy, education and discourse. “Mental illness affects 1 in 4 people worldwide regardless of culture or country,” explains Dr. Shimi Kang, the first keynote speaker at the event. “South Asian specific cultural issues can impact the presentation, course, and management of illness for affected individuals and their families. SAMHAA’s efforts will provide much needed awareness and key information about mental health and wellbeing for South Asians within their own cultural context.” Workshops on various topics will take place throughout the day in English, Punjabi, Urdu and Hindi by leading South Asian mental health professionals, concluding with an afternoon keynote by Dr. Gulzar Cheema.

The event is hosted in partnership with The BC Mental Health Foundation, Surrey School District and Sources Community Resource Centre Society, and will feature information tables from over 15 local agencies. Complimentary lunch will be provided. Pre-registration is required.

Event: South Asian Mental Health Community Conference
Date & Time: October 22, 2011, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm (doors open at 9:00 am)
Location: Queen Elizabeth Secondary School, 9457 King George Blvd, Surrey, V3V 5W4
To register:

Mental health is important to all members of society but, unfortunately, there remains a lot of stigma and ignorance around many mental illnesses. Historically, the South Asian community has had limited access to, or knowledge of, resources and support for culturally relevant and multilingual mental health information. As a result, many people are unable to get the help or support they need, and lose out on relationships, jobs, and, literally, the “peace of mind” of living a fulfilled and joyful life.

South Asian Mental Health Alliance (SAMHAA) is a new non-profit community network engaging, educating and mobilizing the South Asian community around issues related to mental health. As the first organization of its kind in Canada, SAMHAA’s mission is to create awareness, foster acceptance, provide links to support and resources, as well as empower all affected by mental illness. SAMHAA’s vision is a society where health and wellness of the mind, body and spirit are recognized equally, without stigma or stereotypes.


Arvinder Grewal, Clinical Counsellor, BC Children’s Hospital
Dr. HaFeez Mian, Registered Clinical Counsellor, Surrey School District
Dr. Jas Bhopal, Psychiatrist
Dr. Poonam Tangri, Psychologist, Centre for Child Development
Dr. Rajpal Singh, Psychologist

(Keynote) Dr. G. Shimi Kang, MD FRCPC, Psychiatrist, Provincial Women’s Health Program, BC Women’s Hospital
Assistant Clinical Professor, UBC
Founder, Provincial Youth Concurrent Disorders Program, BC Children’s Hospital
Founder, Youth, Culture, and Mental Health Fund, BC Mental Health Foundation
Board of Directors of the BC Mental Health Foundation

(Keynote) Dr. Gulzar S. Cheema, MD CCFP, Family Practitioner
Clinical Instructor, Department of Family Practice, UBC
Medical Director, iCON South Asian Division eHealth Strategy Office, Faculty of Medicine, UBC
Former MLA, Surrey-Panorama Ridge
Former Minister of State for Mental Health
Former Minister of State for Immigration and Multicultural Services

October 22 Schedule:
9:00am – Doors Open (Tea, Registration)
10:00am – Welcome & Opening Keynote
11:00am – Main Session: Depression
12:00pm – Breakout Sessions:
– Psychosis
1:00pm – Complimentary Lunch and Exhibition
2:00pm – Main Session: Substance Abuse
3:00pm – Breakout Sessions:
– Dementia
– Anxiety Disorder
4:00pm – Closing Keynote (Dr. Gulzar Cheema)
4:30pm – Open Floor Q&A and Exhibition

Register Now:


Speakers & Mental Health Professionals:
Please visit

To volunteer please visit

Free exhibiting space is available for relevant local resource providers. To sign up, please visit

General Inquiries:
Kulpreet Singh, Founder, SAMHAA
Phone: 778.319.1699

Media Inquiries:
Natasha Raey, Project Manager, SAMHAA
Phone: 778.552.4538