Prof Patel is the Co-Director of the Centre for the Control of Chronic Conditions at the Public Health Foundation of India and has led research for the development of the field of global mental health and improved care for those with mental disorders in resource-poor countries
TIME magazine has named Prof Vikram Patel, Psychiatrist and Professor of International Mental Health among the TIME annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.
Prof Patel is the Co-Director of the Centre for the Control of Chronic Conditions at the Public Health Foundation of India. He is also the founding and Joint Director of the Centre for Global Mental Health, a partnership between the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Kings Health Partners, UK. He is a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow and is also co-founder of Sangath, a mental health research NGO-based in Goa.
Prof Patel played a lead role in synthesising evidence that has shaped the foundation of the field of global mental health and promoted its dissemination by editing key journal series and textbooks that form the basis of teaching and practice in the field.
Prof Patel has conducted ground-breaking epidemiological research that revealed the burden of mental disorders in low- and middle-income nations and showed a strong link between mental disorders and poverty. His research focusses on how to bring better mental healthcare to low-resource communities, where around 90 per cent of people affected by mental illness go untreated because psychiatrists are in such short supply. His studies have looked at the burden of mental disorders and suicide in young people; the association of poverty and gender based violence with depression and suicide; adolescent health, HIV/AIDS and maternal and child health. He also carries out research on chronic diseases which seeks to integrate mental healthcare with that for other chronic diseases, and on using mhealth innovations in improving access to and quality of care. His research also demonstrated that evidence-based treatments for mental illness can be delivered effectively in these countries by non-specialist healthcare workers.
Commenting on the announcement, Prof Vikram Patel said, “Being named on this list is a recognition for the tireless efforts of so many people around the world to use science and advocacy to enhance the quality of life of people affected by mental health problems, easily the most neglected of all global health issues, in the poorest communities of the world”.
EH News Bureau