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Palo Alto University hosts world experts on global mental health research, treatment, human rights, mental health policy, disaster response, and many other topics. The series is organized and hosted by The Students for Global Mental Health.

Presenter: Tony Hoffman, Ph.D.

Tony Hoffman, Ph.D., is a lecturer in child development at University of California, Santa Cruz, and at the American University of Beirut (AUB). He teaches courses on war-affected children and child protection in extreme circumstances. He has been promoting and supervising psychosocial programs for Syrian refugee children in Lebanon since 2014.

Presenter: Deepa Rao, Ph.D., M.A.

Deepa Rao, Ph.D., M.A., is a licensed clinical psychologist and associate professor in the Departments of Global Health and Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington, Seattle, USA. Her professional interests are designing effective interventions to improve mental health and reduce stigma for people with various conditions such as breast and cervical cancer, HIV, diabetes, and depression. She works domestically with African American and African born populations, in South Africa on building mental health research capacity, and in India with pregnant and vulnerable populations of women.

Presenter: Sotheara Chhim, Ph.D.

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. 

Presenter: Daryn Reicherter, M.D.

Daryn Reicherter is dedicated to providing a combination of administrative and clinical services in the area of cross-cultural trauma mental health. He is a psychiatrist serving the clinical needs of survivors of torture from around the world through local refugee clinics.


Dr. Reicherter is involved with the movement for promotion of trauma mental health and human rights issues consulting in countries including Cambodia, Haiti, Zimbabwe, and Indonesia. He has published articles, chapters, and books on the topic of cross-cultural trauma. He has ongoing involvement in the advocacy for human rights in the area of war crimes through the programs he serves, and through advocacy in human rights legal processes.

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