Calista Rajakariar M.B.B.S. is primarily working at the Scarborough office as an early intervention family support coordinator offering services in both Tamil and English. Currently she is running monthly peer support and recovery related educational group in Tamil.
Calista is a Sri Lankan Tamil and had to flee her home land and settle in India due to the ethnic problem. She obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Medicine and Surgery (M.B.B.S) and had been practicing as a General Practitioner in India. During her practice as a physician, she came across many Sri Lankan Tamils who had been affected by the civil war in Sri Lanka and had come to India as refugees with serious mental health issues as a consequence of losing their relatives and close friends in this conflict. On hearing these patient’s tragic stories and dealing with their mental health issues every day, she had a passion for Psychiatry. In order to get a better understanding in Psychiatry and to give appropriate treatment to her patients, she underwent a special training in Psychiatry at the Teaching Hospital in Madurai. This helped her lot to improve the lifestyle of many of her patients.
In the year 2000, she had an opportunity for migrating to Canada. While preparing for her career in Canada, she volunteered in CRCT due to her passion for Psychiatry and had a chance to meet people with serious and persistent mental health problems. Here too she met many Sri Lankan Tamils including one of her relatives who could only speak Tamil and required a lot of guidance and support to adapt to day to day living in the western world. Her relative and most of the people she met at CRCT had improved their approach to life and recovered from mental health issues because of her support. Being a family member, having a passion for helping people with mental health problems and understanding the effects of racial discrimination and cultural issues she is able to support the families and friends of those with mental health issues with her working experience in the past and vast knowledge in psychiatry.
Apart from her work, she also enjoys spending time with her family and her hobbies such as photography, gardening and trying new recipes.
Calista runs a monthly support group held the first Wednesday of every month at the Scarborough office.