Goa-based psychiatrist Vikram Patel in Time’s 100 most influential list

18 Apr 2015


Dr Vikram Patel, India's top mental health expert and a professor of international mental health at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, has been named among Time magazine's 100 most influential people in the world.

The Goa-based doctor, who spends most of his time between Goa and London, is also a co-founder of Sangath, a mental health research NGO focused on better mental health care for low-resource communities.

Dr Patel, who has done seminal research on suicides in India hopes that his presence in the list would help wake up the government to the serious shortage of mental health programmes and experts in the country.

Dr Patel has been among the authors of the series of articles published in The Lancet that had made a strong case for India to set up an integrated national health system by 2020.

According to Dr Patel, mental disorders and suicides among young people are closely linked to poverty and gender-based violence, depression and suicide as also adolescent health, HIV / Aids and maternal and child health.

He is currently searching links of chronic diseases and mental health.

Time's list of 100 most influential people, now in its 12th year, ''recognises the activism, innovation and achievement of the world's most influential individuals. The TIME 100 is a list of the world's most influential men and women, not its most powerful, though those are not mutually exclusive terms.

"While power is certain, influence is subtle. As much as this exercise chronicles the achievements of the past year, we also focus on figures whose influence is likely to grow, so we can look around the corner to see what is coming,'' Editor Nancy Gibbs said.

Prof Patel is the founding and joint director of the Centre for Global Mental Health, a partnership between the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Kings Health Partners.

The Time 100 list describes Prof Patel as a ''well-being warrior'' and includes a tribute from Dr Barbara Van Dahlen, a psychologist and the founder of Give an Hour, a network of volunteer mental-health professionals, as well as the Campaign to Change Direction.

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