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.)

Organising Committee

Dr. Abhijit Nadkarni

Dr. Abhijit Nadkarni, MBBS, DPM, MRCPsych, MSc (Mental Health Services Research), PhD (Epidemiology), Abhijit is a tenure-track Associate Professor of Global Mental Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), UK. He is an addiction psychiatrist and global mental health researcher conducting research aimed at developing and evaluating interventions for increasing access to mental healthcare in low resource settings. His host institution in India is Sangath, a mental health research NGO, where he is the Director of the Addictions Research Group. He has trained at the Goa Medical College, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, UK, King’s College London and LSHTM.

He is actively involved in the capacity building of mental health researchers and lay health workers in India and overseas (e.g. Nepal, Kenya, Uganda). He teaches on various MSc courses (Global Mental Health, Public Health Policy) at the LSHTM, and the Course Director for the annual short course on Leadership in Mental Health. He is on the State Mental Health Authority for Goa, and was on the task force of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare that develop the mental health operational guidelines for the Ayushman Bharat Program.


Dr Amar Jesani is a medical doctor working as an independent consultant – researcher and teacher – in bioethics and public health, in Mumbai, India. He is one of the founders of the Forum for Medical Ethics Society and its journal, Indian Journal of Medical Ethics (IJME; He is also its present editor. He is one of the founding trustees of the Anusandhan Trust, which manages the health research institute, CEHAT (Centre for Enquiry into Health and Allied Themes – in Mumbai, and the health action institute, SATHI (Support for Advocacy and Training to Health Initiatives –, in Pune, India.

Currently, he is a consultant and co-principal investigator (PI) of the Wellcome Trust-supported research project titled “Investigating reproductive ethics-in-context: the Indian experience” with King’s College, London. He has also been researching the impact of torture prevention mechanisms over the last three decades in India, as co-PI of a project supported by the Association for the Prevention of Torture, Geneva. Read more...

Dr. Arjun Kapoor

Arjun Kapoor is Programme Manager and Research Fellow at the Centre for Mental Health Law & Policy. He is a lawyer and psychologist with experience in human rights, access to justice and mental health in South Asia. Previously, he was appointed as Law Clerk to the Supreme Court of India and also developed socio-legal interventions with community lawyers and paralegals on access to justice in Gujarat, India. Currently, Arjun works at the intersection of law & policy reform, mental health and suicide prevention in India. He co-leads the India Mental Health Observatory and provides capacity building and technical support to a range of stakeholders for implementation of the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017 and National Mental Health Policy, 2014. He also co-leads project Outlive! a suicide prevention programme which addresses urban youth suicides and project ENGAGE which focuses on adolescent suicide prevention in rural settings.

Dr. Kaustubh Joag

Dr. Kaustubh Joag, Senior Research Fellow & Consultant Psychiatrist , Kaustubh is a trained psychiatrist, completed his training in 2006 from the University of Mumbai. He works as a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Mental Health Law and Policy at the Indian Law Society, Pune. He is a project co-lead for large scale, community-led intervention called ‘Atmiyata’ which aims to reduce mental health care gap in rural India. He has worked on Atmiyata since its inception: first, as Co-principal Investigator through its proof-of-concept stage; and as Principal Investigator for the transition-to-scale stage. He also co-leads the social franchise model for this project in partnership with community-based organizations like Ambuja Cement Foundation and Hasiru Dala. Additionally, Kaustubh coordinates the Centre’s International Diploma in Mental Health Law and Human Rights. He has completed this diploma in 2013-14. He is also a practicing psychiatrist since 2006.

Mrinalini Ravi

Dr Mrinalini Ravi, is Co-lead for the Sundaram Fasteners Centre for Social Action and Research at The Banyan Academy, Deputy Director Partnerships at The Banyan and Director of the Secretariat of the Movement for Global Mental Health (until December 2023). She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology and mental health services research respectively. She’s held several portfolios in the past decade, but holds her five-year stint managing a shelter for homeless men with mental health issues closest to her heart. Much of her learning comes from her clients, who were kind and patient enough to share their journeys with her and helped her to navigate her interests in working with vulnerable populations meaningfully. Her dream is to establish a recovery college and enable more students like her to benefit from peer-led education and research. In her current role, she is working towards establishing an Emergency Care and Recovery Centre for homeless persons with mental health issues in Bangalore, Karnataka based structure and processes developed by The Banyan and validated by the Government of Tamil Nadu. She has, since 2020 also been part of a core team that replicated the ECRC model in 8 districts in Tamil Nadu through public private partnerships, in response to acute care needs that arose from the pandemic.

Dr. Sanjay Nagral

Dr. Sanjay Nagral, Sanjay Nagral is a surgeon from Mumbai with practice focused on Surgical Gastroenterology, Hepatopancreatobiliary surgery & Liver Transplantation. Currently, he is Director of the Department of Surgical Gastroenterology at Jaslok Hospital & Research Centre, a tertiary care private charitable institution in Mumbai.

He did his undergraduate & postgraduate studies at the GS Medical College & worked at the KEM Hospital Mumbai till 1999 as Associate Professor of Surgery. He was awarded the Inlaks fellowship for higher studies in the UK in 1996 -97 and did fellowships in HPB surgery & liver transplantation at the Kings College Hospital & the Royal Free Hospital in London from 1995 to 1997. Read more...

Urvita Bhatia

Urvita Bhatia, is a psychologist and clinical researcher. She is currently pursuing her doctoral studies at Oxford Brookes University (Oxford, UK) through a Global Challenges Research Award. Her PhD is focussed on the development of a sports-based adolescent substance use prevention program in India.

She is a Research Fellow at the Addictions Research Group in Sangath and is part of the NIHR Global Health Research Group focused on developing a package of care for the mental health of survivors of violence in South Asia. She was previously awarded a Wellcome Trust DBT India Alliance Research Training Fellowship, to work on the adaptation of an evidence-based intervention for family members affected by a relative’s alcohol use.

She trained in Clinical Psychology in India before completing her MSc in Global Mental Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and King's College London (London, UK). Urvita has been working in India in a mental health research NGO called Sangath (Goa, India), and has focused her efforts on interventional research since less than a decade. Her research and clinical interests span community-based prevention and treatment approaches for substance use-related problems, for both, individuals and families, and the development and evaluation of such interventions. She is also interested in culturally appropriate treatments for addictions, gender-based violence, particularly intimate partner violence and common mental disorders.