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

SSWANA counselor talking to SSWANA student

UHS Resources for SSWANA Students

Let's Talk Consultations

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 identify? Find other clinicians on our Let's Talk Schedule page.

Drop-In Hours

View, print, or download our Let's Talk SSWANA Flyer.

SSWANA Wellness Series

Fall 2023 Topics to be Announced

Learn more about the SSWANA Initiative at UC Berkeley.

SSWANA Practitioners

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 available here.

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

Emily El-Oqlah, PhD

A postdoc psychology fellow is pictured

  • Mood and anxiety concerns
  • Family of origin issues
  • Relationship concerns
  • Muslim (and Muslim-ish) mental health
  • Sexuality and gender identity

Sarah Abbas, MSW, ASW

Sarah Abbas, MSW, ASW

  • Integrative mental health & wellness
  • Anxiety & Mood concerns
  • Substance use concerns
  • Intergenerational trauma & trauma-informed care
  • Intersectional identity development
  • Women's health & healing
  • BIPOC, SSWANA, & Muslim 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 to healing

Apoorvee Sawhney, PhD

Apoorvee Sawhney

  • Family of origin concerns
  • Relational/interpersonal concerns
  • Internationational student experiences
  • Graduate students issues
  • Spirituality

Sameera Siddiqi, MD

Sameera Saddiqi, MD

  • Mood and anxiety disorders
  • Prevention and early intervention
  • Minority mental health
  • Holistic approach to care

Sheela Vashishtha, LCSW

Staff photo of Sheela Vashishtha

  • Mood/anxiety concerns
  • Trauma healing 
  • Relationship concerns 
  • Bicultural identity concerns 
  • Somatic therapy 
  • Stress management 

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 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) >

Resources and Referrals