South Asian, Southwest Asian, and North African (SSWANA) Students

Resources for SSWANA Students

SSWANA counselor talking to SSWANA student

At University Health Services (UHS)

Let's Talk Consultations with UHS Counselors 

Why join a Let's Talk session?

  • FREE access to supportive counseling and referral to resources
  • Confidential, safe space for informal consultations 
  • Culturally-centered 
  • Easy Online Sign-Up through WeJoinIn
  • Interested in discussing another aspect of your identity? Find other clinicians on our Let's Talk Schedule webpage. 

Drop-In Hours 

For urgent concerns or to schedule an appointment with Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), please call (510) 642-9494. More information about UHS Mental Health resources is available on our Mental Health webpage.

SSWANA Practitioners

Counselor Specialty

Kusha Murarka, PsyD

Kusha Murarka, PsyD

  • Family of origin concerns 
  • Immigrant experience
  • Relationship issues
  • Identity concerns
  • Mood/Anxiety concerns
  • Balancing academic, family, & work demands 

Shanta Jambotkar, LCSW

Shanta Jambotkar, LCSW

  • Healing after trauma 
  • EMDR treatment
  • Sexual violence & IPV survivorship
  • LGBTQIA+, non-binary & BIPOC women
  • Immigrant & next-generation SSWANA communities

Bini Sebastian, M.Ed.

Bini Sebastian, M.Ed.

  • Relationship & intimacy concerns 
  • Trauma-informed therapy 
  • LGBTQ+ well-being
  • Spirituality/religion concerns
  • Psychosomatic/body-centered practices for healing

Sheela Vashishtha, LCSW

Staff photo of Sheela Vashishtha

  • Mood/anxiety concerns
  • Trauma healing 
  • Relationship concerns 
  • Bicultural identity concerns 
  • Somatic therapy 
  • Stress management  
Himadhari Sharma, M.A.
A Doctoral Psychology Intern is Pictured
  • Asian/Asian American and SSWANA mental health
  • International students
  • Identity development
  • Trauma and healing including transgenerational trauma
  • Managing emotions
  • Social justice work 

The SSWANA Initiative

The South Asian, Southwest Asian, and North African (SSWANA) Initiative was advocated for and created by student activists that felt this student population lacked representation and resources at the University of California at Berkeley. As such, students will always be the heart of this initiative with the support of staff. The SSWANA Initiative seeks to provide personalized access to resources on campus, accessible programming, promote cross-cultural community building, and advocate for social justice in SSWANA communities through education and empowerment.

Learn more about the SSWANA Initiative >

Muslim Students

The Muslim Mental Health Initiative (MMHI) at UC Berkeley is the product of years of collaboration, discussions, and brainstorming between Muslim student leaders, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), and Khalil Center leadership.

MMHI focuses on the prevention and promotion of Muslim mental health by providing services such as drop-in hours, support groups, and workshops throughout the semester. Beyond their Islamic identities, MMHI’s therapists are trained and practice just like any other therapist, with the exception that meetings are unlimited, free, and anonymous. MMHI also offers phone appointments so that our therapists are available to all students, on and off campus.

Learn more about the Muslim Mental Health Initiative (MMHI) >