An Interview With Our In-house Psychiatrist


Liezel Porras


Jul 15, 2022


With increasing mental health awareness in our society, mental health support has become a high priority within the workplace. When the pandemic started, there was an increase in – and often unmet – mental health needs. The opportunity to have a chat with our in-house psychiatrist, Dr. Mikkaela Chin, allowed me to get a better grasp of the value of mental health consulting in the workplace alongside her advocacy for increasing access to professional consultations when necessary.

Journey to Psych

Dr. Chin initially aspired to be a pediatrician or an OB-GYN, but while working in a rural health care center, she encountered patients who needed psychiatric help but didn't have the resources to access it. "The psychiatrist assigned to that area only goes there once a month," she added. "At that time, I was a general practitioner. It opened my eyes to the fact that we need more psychiatrists. It was that exposure in the health center [...] the number of people who have mental issues and problems has been increasing in recent years. "

Challenges and Rewards 

Dr. Chin typically spends long periods of time listening to people vent their worries and frustrations. As a result, she often faces compassion fatigue after assisting patients and helping them resolve issues in their personal lives. Because of her passion for helping people, she would feel a sense of failure and frustration when her patients' illnesses progressed. "Sometimes I wonder, 'Is what I'm doing enough?’ [...] It can be taxing." Dr. Chin said when asked what the most difficult aspect of her job is. Adding, "[But] you have to keep reminding yourself that you have a life outside the walls of your office. That means taking care of your mental health as well."

As a psychiatrist, she has the power to change someone’s life for the better. The satisfaction gained from helping someone in overcoming mental health issues is the primary reward. "This is the best part for me—seeing your patients get better, seeing them strive to improve day by day," she stated. 

Mental Health Care: Better Access for All

As part of the Xillium culture of taking care of its staff, Dr. Chin provides counseling sessions with our staff to help them process and learn the skills necessary to cope with their struggles. The goal is not to give advice but rather to create a non-judgmental, empathic, and approachable environment in which our staff can find a way forward.

Liezel Porras

Liezel holds a degree in Literature and has years of experience in remotely mentoring foreign students to speak English. Her academic involvement also includes writing and editing learning materials and content. Her distance learning profession cultivated her competency in communication, management, research, and technology.

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