Dr. Rajpal Singh’s experience in the psychology field spans more than four decades. He arrived in Canada from India in 1986 as a PhD psychology research student. Discovering the need for mental health resources and support for the South Asian community in the Greater Vancouver area, he created a Multicultural Mental Health Program to provide awareness and training for mental health support workers and the community in 1989.
In 1992, he started running support groups for individuals with depression in the South Asian community. At first, there was apprehension from individuals about participating in these forums, but within a few years, word that the groups were a valuable community resource had spread, and Dr. Singh started exploring sensitive topics such as domestic violence, substance abuse and schizophrenia.
During this time, Dr. Singh also adapted a court-mandated Relationship Violence Prevention Program for South Asians, and co-founded the Sexual Medicine Consultation Clinic for Clients with Mental Disorders in 1996. From 1999 to 2008, Dr. Singh served as the Senior Mental Health Worker with Vancouver Coastal Health’s South Mental Health Team.
In 2008, Dr. Singh joined Fraser Health to develop and coordinate the Early Psychosis Intervention Program at Royal Columbian Hospital to serve individuals and their families in Fraser North (Burnaby, New Westminster, Tri-Cities and Maple Ridge). The Early Psychosis Intervention Program is aimed at enhancing the recognition of early signs and symptoms of psychosis (a condition that affects the mind, in which there has been some loss of contact with reality), so that effective treatment can be started as soon as possible. Recognizing that language barriers can be barriers to seeking treatment, Dr. Singh has been a strong advocate for the recruitment of multicultural mental health professionals to serve Fraser Health’s diverse population.
Dr. Singh is a popular speaker and community educator, and appeared as guest in a weekly mental health segment on Joy TV’s Harpreet Singh Show
. Developed specifically for the South Asian community, this ongoing series aims to educate, help reduce stigma, and offer resources for dealing with mental illness.
Early Psychosis Intervention