Shinichi witnessed first-hand the trauma experienced by the Vietnamese boat refugee community when he was growing up in Los Angeles. The stigma toward mental health issues and the lack of access to mental health services only compounded the problem. While cultural norms told him to ignore mental health issues, Shinichi chose instead to focus on them.
As a psychology major at the University of Southern California (USC), Shinichi volunteered in the Navajo Nation, and studied the psychological consequences of the Cyprus problem in the Republic of Cyprus and Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Recognizing similarities, Shinichi was inspired to study mental health across cultural boundaries and countries.
Shinichi has become an expert in developing and implementing community-based mental health programs across the globe through his work at the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma, the World Health Organization, and Partners In Health. Whether in Haiti or Pakistan, Shinichi is focused on creating sustainable solutions for resource-poor communities with unmet mental health needs.
Shinichi’s work has shown him the game changing potential of nurses in addressing the significant burden of mental illness. Consequently, Shinichi will be attending the Yale School of Nursing’s Graduate Entry Prespecialty in Nursing program to become a psychiatric nurse practitioner so that he can train the next generation of psychiatric nurses to provide mental health care to communities in need. His goal is to raise the profile of advanced practice psychiatric nursing in low-resource settings to help transform how mental health systems are fundamentally structured to care for the poorest and most vulnerable.