Growing up I witnessed and experienced inequalities at the intersections of society and healthcare. After my own challenges I founded Tarakī, an award-winning movement working with Punjabi communities to reshape approaches approach mental health. I focus on the relationship between research, policy and the grassroots. Within this, I am interested in understanding how to centre those with lived experiences of mental health challenges in knowledge formation and implementation. I am currently pursuing doctoral studies at Oxford University in Primary Healthcare after completing a masters at the University of Toronto in Health Policy, Management and Evaluation through a scholarship supported by the Canadian Rhodes Scholars Foundation. My writing has been published by platforms including Red Pepper, Media Diversified, Raconteur, and The Times.
Oxford University — DPhil, Primary Health Care (Part-Time)
[october 2021 — present]
I am currently undertaking part-time doctoral studies at Oxford University under the supervision of Professor Kam Bhui (Psychiatry), Professor Trish Greenhalgh (Primary Health Care) and Dr Nayanika Mathur (Anthropology).
My proposed research seeks to explore the place of power within processes of youth user participation in mental health research.
University of Toronto — MSc Health Policy, Mgmt, Evaluation
[august 2019 — august 2021]
My courses considered Canada's healthcare system, qualitative methods, organisation and management in healthcare, and knowledge translation amongst amongst other topics.
My thesis explores inequities in mental health education with a particular focus racialized communities in Ontario with Dr Gillian Strudwick and Dr Ananya Banerjee.
Oxford University — MSc Modern South Asian Studies
[october 2017 — july 2018]
My taught modules considered Indian foreign policy, gender in Indian society, qualitative research methods and languages, namely Hindi, amongst other topics related to South Asia.
My thesis was supervised by Professor Kate Sullivan de Estrada and involved deconstructing India's foreign policy identity through diplomatic engagement.
University of Bristol — BSc Politics and International Relations
First Class Honours
[september 2014 — july 2017]
My taught modules included the politics of gender, international relations and postcolonial feminisms, popular culture and world politics amongst many other topics over three years.
My thesis was supervised by Professor Terrell Carver and involved critically exploring the construction of Sikh masculinities in Britain through media.
Taraki — Founder + Director [October 2017 — present]
Taraki is a not-for-profit organisation working with Punjabi communities to reshape approaches to mental health which I started due to my lived experiences of mental health challenges. Since October 2017 I have overseen Taraki's expansion to a team of fourteen volunteers. Balancing Taraki alongside my full-time studies, I have developed programming, streamlined processes, and implemented evaluation mechanisms for projects focused on mental health awareness, education, social support and research. I have communicated Taraki’s work through strategic consultations at local, regional and national levels to inform about the complexities of mental health within marginalised communities.
You can find out more about Taraki's work here.
Wellcome Trust — Lived Experience Consultant [February 2020 — present]
As a lived experience consultant, I work with the Wellcome Trust's Mental Health Team to develop a lived experience strategy by facilitating consultation sessions with youth mental health advocates from around the world. I am also closely involved in the Global Mental Health Databank project, working directly with youth and researchers from the USA, UK, South Africa and India to build the blueprint for a databank which provides insights around how youth manage experiences of anxiety and depression. The MHT and its projects aim to shape mental health research culture to meaningfully involve youth with lived experiences of mental health challenges throughout.
You can find out more about Wellcome’s Mental Health Team here.
National Survivor User Network — Board of Trustees [November 2021 — present]
NSUN are a network of individuals with experience of mental distress and grassroots, user-led community groups, acting as an infrastructure organisation and a sector voice for user-led or lived-experience-led groups who work to support the mental health of those in their communities. NSUN bring individuals and groups together to support each other, amplify and strengthen user-led activity, and build shared capacity.
As a trustee and supporter of NSUN, I support the development of the charity’s strategic aims and ensure sustainability and good governance.
You can find out more about NSUN here.
Flourish Labs — Advisory Board [June 2021 — present]
Flourish Labs are a start-up combining cutting edge mental health science and technology to foster flourishing minds and good mental health. Their mission is flourishing minds for all, starting with college students. Flourishing Labs are building a future where nobody is held back by mental health problems, where everyone can be their best self and achieve their potential.
As a Lived Experience Consultant with Flourishing Labs I am supporting the development of app-assisted peer support technology which aims to contribute towards the well-being space particularly within post-secondary education. This project sits at the intersections of peer support, well-being and technology, and involves contributing towards app development, refinement, fundraising, stakeholder relations, implementation, and growth.
You can find out more about Flourish Labs here.
Healthy Brains Global Initiative — Interim Board of Directors [July 2020 — present]
The Healthy Brains Global Initiative (HBGI) is a new mental health research initiative initiated by charity OneMind, in partnership with WEF, World Bank and others. HBGI aims to mobilize $10 billion for brain health research to benefit people living with neurological and mental health disorders. My role on the interim board involves setting the strategy and governance for the new organisation and working towards the appointment of a permanent board. Furthermore, I have supported the development of a global lived experience council to ensure HBGI effectively embeds those with lived experiences of mental health challenges throughout its organisational structure and workflows.
You can find out more about HBGI here.
- University of Toronto
- Scholarship supported by Canadian Rhodes Scholars Foundation.
- University of Toronto Open Fellowship Award.
- Grant to present research at Stanford University (USA).
- University of Bristol
- Departmental award for Highest Overall Mark in Final Year.
- Dean's Award for Exceptional Dissertation Performance in Final Year.
- Dean's Commendation for Exceptional Academic Performance.
Governance, Leadership and Languages
- Recognised as Top 20 Mental Health Leader in the UK
- Fluent in English and Proficiency in Punjabi, Hindi and French.