“When I started my career, people weren’t talking much about mental health. Now there’s more understanding, but stigma is still a major issue.”
“I’m from Kerala, India and completed my psychiatry training in Cardiff, Wales. I have been practicing psychiatry in Canada for 30 years. Initially I immigrated to Nova Scotia and later spent five years in Stratford, Ontario, before moving to B.C. in 1996. I have been with Fraser Health since.
When I started my career, people weren’t talking much about mental health. Now there’s more understanding, but stigma is still a major issue. People find it hard to ask for help; they’re afraid of discrimination. As president of the Ridge Meadows South Asian Cultural Society, I advocate for people who struggle with issues like addictions and homelessness. There are a lot of stereotypes. People need to be housed and society needs to take a more compassionate approach.
I have two sons, four grandchildren and one more on the way! I play squash and enjoy oil painting and gardening – planting the seeds, then seeing them bloom. I also wrote a book: Super 30. It’s about a mathematician who helps lift students out of poverty by preparing them for India’s most prestigious college entrance exams. I travelled around India for three-and-a-half years researching and writing. The book became a huge Bollywood hit this past July – the lead role is played by one of the most famous actors in India!”
– Dr. Biju Mathew, Psychiatrist, Ridge Meadows Hospital and Maple Ridge Mental Health and Substance Centre
Read more Humans of Fraser Health stories: fraserhealth.ca/HumansofFraserHealth