Sotheara Chhim is a survivor of the Killing Fields period in Cambodia, during which he was sent to a children’s detention camp where he endured all the hardships that many Cambodian people suffered. He grew up to become one of the first 10 psychiatrists to qualify in Cambodia. His research interest is in trauma and cross-cultural psychiatry, and the subject of his doctoral dissertation thesis was Baksbat ("broken courage"), a Cambodian trauma syndrome akin to PTSD.
Dr. Chhim earned a medical degree from the University of Health Sciences, Phnom Penh, in 1992 and a specialist degree in Psychiatry through a joint program of the University of Oslo, Norway, and the University of Health Sciences, Cambodia, in 1998. He earned a Master of Psychological Medicine (M.P.M.) from the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, in 2000, and a Ph.D. from the School of Social Sciences (Transcultural Psychiatry), Monash University, Melbourne, Australia in 2015.
He is the executive director of the Transcultural Psychosocial Organization (TPO) Cambodia, Cambodia’s leading NGO in the field of mental health care and psychosocial support.
He is a recipient of the Human Rights Award from the Leithner Center for International Law and Justice at Fordham Law School, Fordham University, New York.