Event Details

PrairieCare Education Series March 2021

Title “Practicing Mental Health Care at the Nexus of Social Identity and Culture”

Presenter: Omkar Sawardekar, MSW, LICSW

BIO: Omkar Sawardekar, MSW, LICSW, is a Clinical Diversity & Inclusion Specialist and an Organizational Change Consultant who has worked in a range of clinical settings with a diverse range of clients in the context of demographic and acuity levels and is experienced as an individual, group, and family Therapist. Omkar has a background in technology, business, fundraising, and non-profit work. Driven by the tenets that relationships rooted in community are central to individual and societal healing and that the best healing practices grow from interdisciplinary methodologies, Omkar is committed to collaboratively developing tools that promote culturally responsive care. Throughout his work with individuals, families, and systems, Omkar is drawn to collaboratively addressing complex individual, cultural and systemic challenges.

Description: How do we practice mental health care while engaging the complexity of our client’s social identities? How do we work effectively across identities while skillfully navigating the complexity of our systems? What is the role of shame in trauma and healing? How do we effectively engage anger, rage, and grief in our clients? What cultural values are at play within ourselves and our clients and how do we attune to and engage these values to create healing relationships. How do we do all of this sustainably?

In this course, we will be exploring the implications of social identity (race, class, gender, gender identity, sexuality, age, etc.) on mental health. Additionally, we will explore the critical need to identify and attune to cultural values present within our clients, our systems, and ourselves. We will examine the use of integrating approaches from fields such as psychology, sociology, and anthropology as a clinical practice/tool that honors the impact of one’s identities and culture on their mental health and trauma. This session will introduce participants to specific tools and frameworks through which they can evaluate their own practice and their client relationships, so as to ultimately serve our clients and communities most capably.


  • Explore frameworks to conceptualize and navigate the rich and complex intersections of mental health, trauma, social identity, and culture.
  • Conceptualize cases more holistically so as to best engage clients through a culturally responsive approach.
  • Practice clinical care interventions based in mindfulness and embodiment approaches towards sustainable outcomes for clients, providers, and systems.


You guys are amazing to work with and were a light in a time of sadness, devastation, and darkness for both my daughter and I. Everyone has both been so kind and understanding to my daughter and I during this process and I can’t thank PrairieCare enough. I feel like I’m getting my little girl back and feel as though we both have the resources and coping skills to get through this. I can tell the staff at PrarieCare really cares about their patients and their families! Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart!

Anonymous , Parent

I am very grateful that I was respected. Being called my preferred name and pronouns made my time in Prariecare much more bearable

Anonymous, Patient