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Reducing Stigma Through Education

Roop Sabharwal is a Punjabi post-doctoral psychology resident at the KP Vallejo psychiatry clinic this year. One of her passions is to reduce mental health stigma and increase access to and utilization of mental health services, particularly in immigrant and marginalized communities. For her program evaluation project Dr. Sabharwal created three brief videos in the Punjabi language designed to provide psychoeducation about mental health in general and depression and anxiety and to encourage members of the community to recognize signs of distress and to seek treatment. Viewers were also informed that mental health services were available via translator in their primary language, and occasionally (if they were lucky enough to get assigned to a provider like Dr. Sabharwal) by a clinician who speaks their language. Dr. Sabharwal also worked with a colleague back in India to create accurate closed captioning for each video in Punjabi.

Links to these videos have already been sent to Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine providers in the Napa-Solano service areas so they can provide them to their Punjabi patients, and Dr. Sabharwal is in the process of collecting relevant outcome data. She has already been contacted by at least one Punjabi KP member who reported a long-time need for mental health services that they were reluctant to request due to discomfort discussing private material with a non-Punjabi doctor.

Dr. Sabharwal expressed her special thanks to Dr. Choua Thao, a post-doctoral resident at KP Fairfield last year who completed a similar project for the Hmong community, and to Sonya Flores, for editing, and providing technical support for the videos and their hosting.

The videos can be viewed at:

A poster describing this project will be presented at the 2023 Kaiser Permanente Mental Health and Addiction Medicine Annual Symposium Saturday, June 24.

Contributed by Dr. Renn Schauer

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