The Community Voices Series: Dr. Farah Shroff

Meet our latest champion of culture transformation

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Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW), October 3 to 9, 2021, is an annual national public education campaign designed to help open the eyes of Canadians to the reality of mental illness. This week of learning leads up to World Mental Health Day, October 10. This commemorative day, sponsored by the World Health Organization, raises awareness and mobilizes efforts in support of mental health. The slogan for 2021 is “Mental health care for all: let’s make it a reality”.

To promote these events, REDI has asked Dr. Farah Shroff to discuss her work. Dr. Shroff is a UBC Faculty member who works in the Department of Family Practice and the School of Population and Public Health. She has worked as a researcher in mental health for many years, with a focus on upstream issues – promoting mental wellbeing and preventing mental illness. She is a passionate advocate for global wellbeing for all, women’s health, mental well-being and more.

Dr. Shroff is also a justice, equity, diversity and inclusion (JEDI) champion in the Faculty of Medicine, in her teaching, her innovative research, and her promotion of mental wellbeing for all. She has a passion for working with communities of colour in North America and around the world.

UBC has celebrated Dr. Shroff’s unique blend of research, mind/body teaching and walking the talk of wellbeing; she has been a thriving Faculty member. Take a few moments to learn more about Dr. Shroff, in her own words.

We are fortunate to have an abundance of talent at our university, people who want to reach out to others so that we can all feel genuinely well.

How have you been engaged with culture transformation?

In my work and in my life, I am committed to social justice, and to finding ways to create a healthier world. Much of my research focuses on holistic health – the mind-body connection and spirituality.

I conduct research in social justice and holistic health, the mind-body connection and spirituality. I’m very excited about the ways in which these two very separate areas have come together in projects where I focus on decolonizing public health practices through the reemergence of indigenous health knowledge forms that emanate from the Global South such as yoga, Ayurveda and meditation.

What is something interesting to know about you?

For many years I have taught members of the UBC community: yoga, dance, self-defense, meditation, laughter yoga, nature immersion, and many other practices. It has been a true delight! I really enjoy working with students, staff, faculty, residents and others to bring about a sense of sweet well-being.

Which recent project have you been especially proud of?

I recently directed the Wellbeing Convene project, a series of well-being webinars by and for the Faculty of Medicine community. In these webinars we talked about mental well-being, ways to support each other to prevent burnout, eye health, sexual well-being and many other topics. We are fortunate to have an abundance of talent at our university, people who want to reach out to others so that we can all feel genuinely well.

What’s next for you?

I’m hoping to obtain Strategic Investment Fund support to carry out a project at UBC, which I am calling the HOhm Project, a new idea that I created to improve the well-being of racialized women through ancestral practices. In this project we will focus on practices that emanate from the Global South and are in the bones of those of us who will be in the sessions. For many years we have looked to Europe and the European diaspora for solutions to health and well-being problems, yet practices that come from Asia, Latin America and elsewhere that have been thriving all over the world are either not widely known or utilized, or are commercialized so that others are profiteering from these sacred practices. This project promises to be profoundly healing in mind body and spirit.

Dr. Shroff will be featured at an event of the Dalai Lama Center: “Thriving in a Stressful World – Practical Ways to Help Ourselves and Our Children Feel Secure and Calm”. The event is free to all.

October 14, 2021 | 1:30 – 3:00 pm

Register here

Connect With Us

We invite members of the community to connect and collaborate with REDI. You can participate directly by:

  • Writing a post for the Community Voices series
  • Telling us about work or projects supporting these goals
  • Identifying a champion or early adopter of culture change

To bring about meaningful change we need each member of our community to be committed and involved. Contact REDI

More from the Community Voices series:

REDI presents Community Voices, a new series featuring members of the community who are champions of culture transformation. We invite you to connect and collaborate with REDI. Learn More

The Community Voices Series: Alix Wells
November 30, 2021Meet a UBC student who is creating an impact Read more >

The Community Voices Series: Lisa Renaud
October 28, 2021Get to know one of our students who is making a difference Read more >

The Community Voices Series: Dr. Neila Miled
May 17, 2021The Office of Respectful Environments, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion is pleased to introduce Dr. Neila Miled, our new Anti-Racism Advisor Read more >

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