Vikram Patel’s vision of mental health for all “is one that we should all celebrate,” said Dr. Tina Chanchlani, who presented the Chanchlani Global Health Research Award to this year's recipient on February 23, 2016 at the 4th annual award and lecture.
Chanchlani's father, philanthropist Vasu Chanchlani who passed away in 2014, and her mother, Dr. Jaya Chanchlani, created the award with McMaster in 2012 to honour an outstanding scientist who has made a significant impact in the area of global health.
As Chanchlani noted, Patel is a “psychiatrist, researcher, author, and professor who has dedicated his life’s work to making a positive difference in the field of global health and giving voice to those who are marginalized.”
He delivered his talk “The Black Dog: Why We Don’t Care” to a packed lecture hall. The dynamic presentation shed light on the issue of depression and mental illnesses, which are among the leading causes of disability around the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that nearly four to five hundred million people are affected by mental illness.
“We were delighted to recognize Vikram Patel and his contributions to the area of global mental health,” says Andrea Baumann, director of the Global Health program. “The stigma of mental health is a very real issue, and it needs to be addressed, especially considering the fact that depression is a leading cause of the global burden of disease.”
Patel is co-founder and former Director of the Centre for Global Mental Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). He is also Co-Director of the Centre for Control of Chronic Conditions for the Public Health Foundation of India, as well as the co-founder and a member of the Managing Committee of the NGO Sangath.
Stay tuned for a video of his presentation, which will be posted on the Global Health website soon.