Ethnic Minority Mental Health Research Lab

Ethnic Minority Mental Health (EMH) Research Group

Dr. Joyce Chu



Lab members to contact for more information: Lorna Chiu, Gabriel Corpus, Shikha Saggi, Vedant Agrawal,

Michelle Lin, Helen Ma, Holly Batchelder, Brandon Hoeflein, Lamisha Muquit


EMH Overview

The Ethnic Minority Mental Health (EMH) Research Group is focused around understanding and improving mental health services for ethnic minority individuals with suicidal behaviors and mood disorders. Ethnic minority individuals are often underserved and have low rates of service utilization. Our lab is dedicated to understanding the barriers to service use and developing culturally congruent outreach and treatment options for these communities. The work in this lab is often community-based. Main projects study cultural competency issues in general, special subpopulations of Asian Americans, and ethnic minority issues as a whole.


Individual Papers and Presentations

All EMH lab members are engaged in their own independent project(s) as a “pre-dissertation” training experience during their 2nd and 3rd years. Students are generally involved in 1-2 projects collaboratively with Dr. Chu and their lab colleagues. The goal of this pre-dissertation project is to a) develop research and statistics competency prior to the dissertation project, b) make a poster or paper presentation at a professional conference, and/or c) submit a paper for professional publication. Current students have presented at the American Psychological Association, American Association of Suicidology, Asian American Psychological Association, Association for Psychological Science, and other conferences.


Current student projects cover such topics as:

  • The integration of culturally competent suicide risk management into clinical practice and standards
  • Revision of the Cultural Assessment of Risk for Suicide scale for ethnic minority and LGBTQ individuals
  • Transforming suicide prevention practices within partnered county mental health organizations
  • Integration of the science of cultural differences into a gold standard for culturally competent practice
  • Reduction of mental health stigma among Asian American communities
  • The suicide experience of ethnic minorities with early psychosis


EMH students then focus their 3rd and 4th years on their dissertations. Professional development and advising are integrated into lab meetings, addressing such topics as planning your graduate career, crafting cover letters for practicum applications, choosing practicum sites, etc.


Openings: 3 openings to join the group in Fall 2021. You will be expected to start your work in the research group starting the previous Spring or Summer quarter.


Apply: Students interested in joining the group starting 2021 are asked to submit the following items to Dr. Chu (via email) by the PAU uniform research group application date. Please combine all documents into one file.

  1. Curriculum Vitae
  2. One or two page cover letter discussing past research experience, how and why the student became interested in ethnic minority mental health, and specific research and clinical interests in ethnic minority mental health. If you are applying for the Multicultural Suicide Research Center (MSRC), please indicate this interest in your cover letter.
  3. A writing sample such as your research proposal written in PAU’s Research Methods course.
  4. Your unofficial PAU transcript


Notification: Students accepted into Ethnic Minority Mental Health Research Group for the 2021 cycle will be notified by email by the PAU uniform notification date.


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