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World Affairs

Mental Health Lessons from Around the World

with Pooja Lakshmin

Original Forum date: May 02, 2023

About Pooja Lakshmin

Dr. Pooja Lakshmin, M.D. is a board-certified physician psychiatrist, a Clinical Assistant Professor at George Washington University. She is a women’s mental health specialist and a New York Times Contributor.

In her book, Real Self-Care: Crystals, Cleanses and Bubble Baths Not Included, Dr. Lakshmin reckons with a “wellness” industry that’s built to sell products. She argues women are largely targeted by these get-well-quick schemes. In their place, she focuses on tangible psychological tools to manage difficult emotions, set boundaries, make choices aligned with one’s values, and develop mental health literacy.

She will discuss the shortcomings of pop-“wellness” and offer real, scientifically-backed tools and strategies for wellbeing informed by cultural practices from around the world.

Dr. Lakshmin serves on the Board of Directors for the Maternal Mental Health Leadership Alliance –a national non-profit dedicated to further maternal mental health policy – and the Editorial Advisory Board of Clinical Psychiatry News. She is the founder and CEO of Gemma, the first digital education platform dedicated exclusively to women’s mental health, centering inclusion and impact. She is also a frequent contributor to The New York Times, (How Can I Make the Holidays Less Exhausting), her writing has appeared in Harper’s Bazaar (Naomi Osaka and the Cost of Saying No), and she’s frequently in the media for example WNYC (The Realities of Postpartum Depression and Anxiety Today), among other outlets.



Gao Hong


M.A.Mortenson Companies, Inc.

Thanks to our media sponsors for this Forum.