Joint 5th Global Mental Health Summit (GMHS) and 9th National Bioethics Conference (NBC)

Forum for Medical Ethics Society with Banyan Academy of Leadership In Mental Health (BALM),Chennai ;
Centre for Mental Health Law & Policy (CMHLP), Pune and Sangath

Pre-conference events: Between Nov 15 and Dec 31, 2022
Main Conference: Saturdays, December 3 & 10, 2022 (virtual) & December 17, 2022 (Madras School of Social Work No. 32,CASA Major road,Sulaiman Zackria Avenue,Egmore,Chennai-600008,Tamil Nadu.)

Ethics Awards






Category 1
Advocates/Champions foregrounding lived experiences and contributing to ethical practices for rights-based mental healthcare

    Aryan Somaiya

Pasavathy Muthurangam

Co founder of Guftagu Counselling and Psychotherapy (OPC) Pvt. Ltd.

Aryan Somaiya (he/him), Transman, holds a Master's degree in Psychology with specialization in Clinical Psychology. I believe that symptoms are a representation of the suffering and not anything to cure. As much as oppressive systems exist, so is the personal and private experience of these systems. These experiences play in our relationships hence I believe the potential itself lies in the relationship as therapist and client to bring corrective experiences, build tolerance, make unbearable, bearable and build self by building bridges with self as a whole. This he believes helps in developing a space where one can be aware of choice and agency while experiencing different structures as well as engaging in the wideness of self. As a therapist he is curious about what is unspoken, denied, unseen, implicit but present and the internal and external experiences of the psyche. He is also the co-creator of Queer Affirmative Counselling Practices Resources Manual (QACP).




Category 1

    Sudarshan R Kottai

Sanjana Shailendra Chikhalkar

I am an Assistant Professor in the department of Humanities and Social Sciences at Indian Institute of Technology Palakkad. Trained as a clinical psychologist, my doctoral work carried out at the Department of Liberal Arts, Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad revolves around everyday narratives and practices of mental health care and chronicity which are constructed by official discourses of state and bio-medicine. Informed by the politics, history and philosophy of psy disciplines, I examine the complexities and ambiguities in the context of increasing metricalisation, technocratisation, globalization and scientifisation of mental health care. I grapple with questions of philosophical interest in mental health care like why mainstream mental health academia/research/ practice primarily engage in “mirroring” the world rather than in “world-making”. My upcoming book titled Mental health and critical community care: Pesrspectives from India to be published by Routledge in 2023 uncovers mental health care practices in India from critical perspectives.

I encourage research broadly in the following areas: mental health interventions with minority/marginalised population, mental health in the context of gender, disabilities and sexualities, social disadvantage, and intersections in mental health all taking inter and multidisciplinary perspectives. I follow issues related to public administration that have direct consequences to life in general and human mentation in particular. Travelling, farming, reading literature and spending time with pets and other non-humans on our natural farmland in the western ghats are sources of immense contemplations for me.


Category 3
Community-based civil society organisations

    EKJUT (Together Building Healthier Communities)


Ekjut (meaning togetherness in several Indian languages) was founded in 2002 as a civil society organization and has been working with marginalized and tribal communities living in some of the most underserved regions of the country. Ekjut’s programs use a unique Participatory Learning and Action (PLA) approach of community engagement based on philosophy of adult education by Paulo Freire to address issues of maternal and child health, nutrition, adolescent health and wellbeing, gender-based violence, and mental health. In this approach, through a series of monthly meetings, a trained facilitator works with groups of people at the village level to collectively explore the consequences of their behaviour, become engaged in decision making and proactively participate in problem-solving. At the peak of the work ~ 100 000 villages are engaged in this process. Of the many milestones that Ekjut has achieved, these awards are worth mentioning - WHO Public Health Champion award, Transforming India award, ImPact Trial of the year award.

Ekjut has, over its two decades of work, identified the indicators of mental health distress and has been addressing these through a structured community mobilisation model. Ekjut’s engagement with mental health in particular began in 2017, with an individual found to be in severe distress, while working on the issues of gender-based violence and now program covers 1 Lakh population in West Singhbhum district.

Prasanta Tripathy and Dr Nirmala Nair are the Co-founders of Ekjut. Both are medical doctors. Prasanta was a member of National ASHA Mentoring Group and earlier a Member of Mission Steering Group of National Health Mission. Dr Nirmala is the technical manager overseeing all the projects, and leading several research projects in Ekjut, designing and developing both interventions and evaluations on the themes of maternal and child health, health, nutrition and adolescent health and wellbeing.



Call for Nominations 2022-23 | Selection Committee 2022-23