Therapists can refer clients to psychiatry on UpLift. Psychiatric providers are available to answer questions about medication, changing treatment plans, side effects, and more.


Through a collaborative approach, harm reduction works within the realities of our world and addresses those truths, rather than deny them.


Through a collaborative approach, harm reduction works within the realities of our world and addresses those truths, rather than deny them.


Through a collaborative approach, harm reduction works within the realities of our world and addresses those truths, rather than deny them.


Through a collaborative approach, harm reduction works within the realities of our world and addresses those truths, rather than deny them.

Headshot of Dr. Raj Sachdej, MD
Provider Spotlight

Get to Know Dr. Raj Sachdej, MD

Dr. Raj Sachdej, MD is a psychiatrist on UpLift. He shares the importance of cultural humility and the privilege of helping people gain choice in their lives.

Get to Know Dr. Raj Sachdej, MD
Eliana Reyes, Content Strategist


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UpLift’s “Get to Know” series features our providers—so other providers can get to know them, learn from each other, and connect. 

This month’s featured provider is Dr. Raj Sachdej, MD.

What are you passionate about when it comes to psychiatry?

My clinical interests lie with LGBTQ concerns, particularly with minority populations. I did research during my residency around LGBTQ health in people of color, especially global mental health. That’s the other realm that I like to work in: global mental health and what that might look like. That includes minority mental health, refugee mental health, cross-cultural psychiatry—those kinds of things interest me. 

How psychiatric pathologies differ across countries and cultures really excites me. That has also been fuel for my fellowship research in Guam's psychiatric needs, which is what I did during my research fellowship.

A lot of my interest stems from personal experience, coming from a Pacific Island myself, as well as my religious and cultural background. My experience opened up a lot of doors and opportunities to dive into that and to start to learn that there was a whole realm of psychiatry that looks into psychiatric pathology in a different sort of global, culturally competent way. 

Though, I’m not a huge fan of the term “cultural competency” but instead prefer “cultural humility.” That's something I like to engage with in my practice. While cultural competency is something that can be learned in textbooks and online classes, cultural humility is more of a lifestyle and the way that you practice and interact with individuals. It’s more of a commitment to learning about others and what makes them tick or how their culture might affect their perception of health, mental health, and treatment.

What types of clients or areas do you specialize in working with? 

I tend to find myself working with younger adults, underrepresented minorities, religious minorities, as well as LGBTQ individuals, so that tends to be my focus. 

In terms of conditions that I regularly treat: typically mood disorders like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, as well as PTSD and OCD. Those are ones that I typically tend to do most of my focus on.

My approach is very patient-centered in that way—though I know it has a different connotation in therapy. My treatment is centered on focusing not as much on diagnosis and more on functionality and ability to engage with the world—having the person be the best version of themselves. I want to help patients feel they can function and engage with the world meaningfully. 

What inspired you to get into psychiatry?

I enjoy learning about the pathology. I know that sounds a little weird but I enjoy the pathology and how things manifest. I enjoy the fact that it is not strictly just medicine but also has this human component, sometimes poetic component, and legal components. It covers a large range of academic realms. 

I also do think that it's a privilege to be working with someone and help them have choice.

With psychiatry, mental health concerns or disorders often get in the way of an individual's ability to make independent choice. For example, if you're psychotic, you're not necessarily making good choices that are perhaps your own or made with appropriate judgment or insight. 

This might be a little bit sappy, but one of my personal opinions is that humans have two things that they can call their own: their body and their mind. 

With their mind comes the ability of choice, the ability of agency. And so if we are losing our minds, we lose the ability of choice and agency. That's part of the privilege of practicing psychiatry, being able to give people back one of the two things they truly, truly own that should not be taken away from them. 

To help people get that ability back is a fairly sacred privilege to have as a human. 

How do you believe that change happens for a client? 


It all starts with the desire to want to change. If you don't want to change, then it's very difficult to make change. The desire to want to change then brings up the issue: Are you even able to make that choice to change? That's where things get a little bit complicated and tricky in psychiatry with lots of ethical questions.

How do we get people to want to change? I think building, educating the patient about their circumstances, reflecting, and at least presenting them with alternatives—in this case, medications and therapy—can be beneficial to them might inspire a desire to change. Engaging with your supports, whether that is your friends or your family, can also help inspire change, because we are social beings. 

A lot of what we do, why we change ourselves is so that we can interact with the world better, and have more meaningful relationships with other people. If we lived in a box and didn’t interact with anyone, what would be the purpose of making any changes? Even if you were severely depressed, the purpose would be wanting to feel better on your own—which of course is not a bad thing. But most people are social beings. It is healthy for us to interact with the world. We need to be interacting with the world. That is generally what people do on a day-to-day basis. Engaging with your supports and understanding how you want to be better for them or how they can support you in that process is important. 

Are there any resources you tend to share with people? 

In terms of culturally specific resources for mental health, there are various platforms, websites, and support groups that are focused on specific topics, such as South Asian mental health, mental health in Islam, or even mental health within the Black community and diaspora.  

While resources are always changing, this article is a great starting point and shares some BIPOC mental health resources, including directories and wellness apps.

What is your favorite way to practice self care that you would recommend to other providers?

Something that really goes a long way for me is practicing what I preach in terms of sleep hygiene. I'm a huge proponent of getting a good night's rest, and focusing on healthy sleep has changed my life a lot. I know that goes a long way for individuals. So my thing for other providers would be to practice what you preach when it comes to sleep hygiene. 

The biggest thing that I do for myself is I don't watch TV in my bedroom. My bedroom is a sacred space just for sleep. That's the main thing that I do. I've even decorated my room according to Feng Shui principles to enhance sleep. Keeping my sleep environment as comfortable as possible is helpful for me.

And then work-life balance. I know it’s cliché, but work-life balance has to be a priority, especially for mental health providers. Again, we have to be practicing what we preach. If we do that, then it's going to show in our practice, too. And patients absolutely pick up on it. If I show up with dark eye circles and I'm yawning and I'm irritable because I haven't had a good night's rest or I'm arguing with my partner, it'll show. Our patients are able to pick up on that very easily. 

What’s the last book you read or what book did you read recently that you would recommend to anyone?

I would say Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find—and Keep—Love by Dr. Amir Levine and Rachel Heller. I thought that was a good one. Attached was a great way to illustrate the different attachment styles, which a lot of people are unfamiliar with. It’s a nice way to look at attachment theory, which very much affects our everyday relationships. Having that perspective, in a concise, easy way was helpful, even for me as someone who is constantly working with attachment theory. 

The other one is The Art of Happiness by the Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama—although controversial in the past couple of months because of some things that he did—has a great way of putting things into perspective, a very human compassionate perspective. It’s an approachable and simplified way of looking at life that can also be good for understanding different coping mechanisms. 

What would you tell a therapist about working with UpLift psychiatry?

I always recommend therapy to my patients, and any information that is shared is very helpful. 

The work done in therapy is exceedingly important as a primary or as an adjunct treatment to psychiatric care. When I have a therapist’s perspective on a patient, it can be dramatically helpful. For example, understanding how a patient’s coping strategies or relationships are affecting their process of grieving or managing their anxiety is vital information. How a patient shows up for therapy and what working relationship someone might have with their therapist is also telling information.  

Why did you choose to use UpLift?

UpLift has been very great. It’s a new product, and I feel privileged to be part of its growth. 

It provides a lot of flexibility for the patient and the provider, and that allows me to engage in my work-life balance. And again, if I’m engaging in my work-life balance, it shows up in my treatment as well, in how I interact with my clients. 

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About the author
Eliana Reyes, Content Strategist

Eliana Reyes is a content strategist and writer at UpLift.

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