Sauharda Rai

Ph.D. 2022 , (2018 Cohort)

Dissertation Project

Migration and Mental Health in Nepal

Professional Background

Conflict and Global Mental Health, Research and Project Management


Qualitative methods and analysis, Quantitative methods and analysis, Cross-cultural research and training, Nepali, Hindi



Sauharda is currently working on his dissertation project looking at the mental health effect of migration in rural Nepal. Using quantitative and qualitative methods, and theories from social sciences and health sciences, his research focuses on understanding how migration of men impacts their families staying behind and how that ultimately affects their mental health.

Before coming to UW, Sauharda worked as a researcher studying conflict, mental health, and stigma at Duke University and The George Washington University. His work was focused on Nepal, Ethiopia, and South Africa and looked at the effect of conflict and disaster on mental health, building health systems in post-conflict societies, and building academic and institutional partnerships among universities and NGOs to facilitate cross-cultural research. He continues to work with NGOs in Nepal training and facilitating mental health stigma interventions. Sauharda has also published his work in various peer-reviewed journals.

Sauharda received his master’s degree in Conflict, Peace and Development Studies and undergraduate degree in Social Work and Rural Development from Tribhuvan University, Nepal

Grants and Fellowships

  • India Association of Western Washington Scholarships for the Study of South Asia, 2020
  • Open Society Foundation – Civil Society Scholar Award, 2019
  • Chester Fritz International Research and Study Fellowship, 2019
  • Global Mental Health Fellowship, Department of Global Mental Health, University of Washington, 2019
  • Diversity and Equity Committee Travel and Research Grant, Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington, 2019
  • Global Mental Health Conference Travel Grant, Department of Global Mental Health, University of Washington, 2019
  • Henry M Jackson Doctoral Fellow 2018-19, Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington, 2018

Selected Publications

  1. Rai, S., Adhikari, S.B., Acharya, N.R., Kaiser, B.N. and Kohrt, B.A., 2017. Elucidating adolescent aspirational models for the design of public mental health interventions: a mixed-method study in rural Nepal. Child and adolescent psychiatry and mental health, 11(1), p.65.
  2. Rai, S., Gurung, D., Kaiser, B.N., Sikkema, K.J., Dhakal, M., Bhardwaj, A., Tergesen, C. and Kohrt, B.A., 2018. A service user co-facilitated intervention to reduce mental illness stigma among primary healthcare workers: Utilizing perspectives of family members and caregivers. Families, Systems, & Health, 36(2), p.198.
  3. Milan Dharel Narendra Dongol, Sauharda Rai, Krishna Govinda Maharjan. (2013) Politics in Schools of Nepal, A study on the political parties’ interference in schools of Nepal, Loo Niva Child Concern Group, Lalitpur.
  4. Kohrt, B.A., Rai, S., Maharjan, S.M., 2015. Child Soldiers. In: James D. Wright (editor-in-chief), International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 2nd edition, Vol 3. Oxford: Elsevier. pp. 430–438.
  5. Kohrt BA, Yang M, Rai S, Bhardwaj A, Tol WA, Jordans MJ: Recruitment of child soldiers in Nepal: Mental health status and risk factors for voluntary participation of youth in armed groups. Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology 2016, 22(3):208-216. PMC4980080. PMID: 27524877. doi: 10.1037/pac0000170.
  6. Bhardwaj, A., Bourey, C., Rai, S., Adhikari, R.P., Worthman, C.M. and Kohrt, B.A., 2018. Interpersonal violence and suicidality among former child soldiers and war-exposed civilian children in Nepal. Global Mental Health, 5.
  7. Kohrt, B. A., Turner, E. L., Rai, S., Bhardwaj, A., Sikkema, K. J., Adelekun, A., … & Jordans, M. J. (2020). Reducing mental illness in healthcare settings: Proof of concept for a social contact intervention to address what matters most for primary care providers. Social Science & Medicine, 112852.

Dissertation Committee