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Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Neuroscience Grand Rounds

Thursday, 02 June, 2022

The Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Neuroscience will present a Grand Rounds from 8 to 9 a.m. on Thursday, June 2, on Zoom. 

Refugee Trauma: A Global Crisis

Sajeeka Jeyakumar, MD, PGY IV

Departments of Psychiatry & Behavioral Neuroscience

Saint Louis University School of Medicine 

Dr. Sajeeka Jeyakumar is a Tamil-Canadian, born in Germany with parents of Sri Lankan heritage. Her passion for refugee mental health stems back to her Tamil community fleeing the 30-year civil war in Sri Lanka. With her keen interest in diverse cultures and human behavior, she completed her undergraduate at the University of Toronto with a double major in Anthropology and Biology. Upon finishing medical school in Belize, Dr. Jeyakumar worked with various countries and organizations, such as Haiti, Guatemala, Sri Lanka, Nepal, as well as the Syrian and Tamil refugee community in Canada. Her most extensive global initiative was in Nepal, where she assisted in implementing a trauma-related stress training manual for teachers across the country, which was later approved by the Nepal government to be a standardized curriculum for all schools. Her journey to Nepal inspired her and her sister, Dr. Ajouka Jeyakumar, to initiate Traumassist, a non-profit organization, focused on building resilience among survivors exposed to traumatic events in underserved communities. With over 200,000 Tamil-Canadians, Dr. Jeyakumar recognizes the lack of mental health care in this population, and her goal is to return back to Canada and serve this underserved community. She is in her final year of psychiatry residency training at Saint Louis University and is thrilled to start her fellowship in geriatric psychiatry this year with Dr. George Grossberg and Dr. Maurice Redden. She is also an alumni of the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma, led by Dr. Richard Mollica.