Charity Mokgaetji Somo, M.Ed.

College of Family and Consumer Sciences

Human Development and Family Science

Doctoral Candidate (MFT Emphasis), Graduate Research Assistant

261A Dawson Hall
305 Sanford Dr.
Athens, GA 30602


workOffice Phone: 706-542-4905


Degree Field of Study Institution Graduation
Med: Educational Psychology Educational Psychology The University of Pretoria, South Africa. September, 9-2014


My research is on mental health in low-income countries and minority families in the United States. I employ the culturally responsive framework to explore the mental health of minority populations.

Current Research

I am collecting data on the experiences of marriage and family therapists who have employed cultural brokers, advocates and interpreters to bridge significant cultural gaps between themselves and their clients. 

I am publishing research studies on the suicide behaviors of women in Cambodia. 


I have teaching experience (undergraduates) in Educational Psychology. I taught undergraduate classes for 2 years, in (1) School counseling, (2) Developmental and learning disabilities, and  (3) School-based psychological interventions. 


I am part of the Refugee Responsive Series at a local refugee resettlement center. I recently developed the Refugee Responsive Mental Health Series, which is a psychoeducational group to improve refugee family mental well-being. 

Areas of Expertise

1. Suicide in Cambodia 

2. Refugee mental health 

3. Culturally Responsive therapies and interventions 

4. Global mental health 

Prior Professional Positions

Organization / Department Title Years of Service
The University of Pretoria, South Africa Natural and Agricultural Sciences Faculty Student Advisor 2

Journal Articles

Somo, C. M., Seponski, D. M., Kao, S,. Lahar, C., Khann, S., & Schunert, T. (in press). Family, health, and poverty factors impacting suicide attempts in Cambodian women: A qualitative analysis from a randomized national sample. Crisis: The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention

Armes, S., Somo, C. M., Khann, S., Seponski, D. M., Lahar, C., Schunert, T., Kao, S., Bunnak, P. & Sek, S. (2018). Mental health indicators of suicide in Cambodian Women. Asia Journal of Public Health. doi: 10.1177/1010539517751349

Potgieter, M., Harding, A., Kritzinger, Q., Somo, C. & Engelbrecht, J. (2015). Reflections of science students on their experiences of an academic development programme in South Africa: part 1. South African Journal of Higher Education 29 (1)


Other contributions: 

Seponski, D. M., & Somo, C. (2015, May/June). The MFT Profession Abroad. Family Therapy Magazine, 14(3)

Working Papers

Seponski, D. M., Somo, C. M., Kao, S., Lahar, C., Khann, S., & Schunert, T., (in progress). Mental health, worry, and suicide attempts in Cambodian women. Crisis: The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention.

Somo, C.M. Seponski, D.M., Lewis, D., Spivey-Young, S. (in progress). Culturally responsive mental health interventions with refugee families. TBD.

Spivey-Young, S., Somo, C.M. Seponski, D.M., Lewis, D. (in progress). It takes a village: Refugee family resiliency in the face of mental health challenges. TBD.

Spivey-Young, Seponski, D.M., Lewis, D., Somo, C.M. (in progress). Refugee child obesity: A dynamic cascading systems approach. TBD.

Seponski, D. M., Alas, C., Mutinda, G., Jordan, L. S., Davis, A., Sotelo, J. M., Massoud, M. & Somo, C. M. (in progress). Client recruitment in underserved communities. TBD.

Bester. S., & Somo, C. M. (in progress). The success stories of students after academic Probation. South African Journal of Higher Education.