International Advisory Board

A voluntary Advisory Group oversees the Movement’s activities and is responsible for its strategic direction. This Group was initially formed for the 2007 Lancet series on global mental health, and membership on the Advisory Group changes over time.

Following are the introductions to the current International Advisory Board (2017-2020):

International Advisory Board Members (March 2017 – February 2020)

 

 

MS CHARLENE SUNKEL MGMH PRINCIPAL COORDINATOR

Charlene is a leading South African voice for the rights of people with mental health problems. She works for the South African Federation for Mental Health as Program Manager for Advocacy and Development where she manages the South African Mental Health Advocacy Movement. She authored several papers from a service user’s perspective. She has written and produced theatre plays and a short feature film on mental disorders – to raise public awareness. She serves on a number of national and international boards and committees, including: Editorial Advisory Board of the Lancet Psychiatry; Presidential Working Group on Disability; Ministerial Advisory Committee on Mental Health; Disability Empowerment Concerns Trust; Mental Health and Human Rights FGIP; Rural Mental Health Campaign; and amongst others. Charlene is the Principal Coordinator for the Movement for Global Mental Health. Charlene was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1991 which led to her passion for mental health advocacy and human rights.

PROF VIKRAM PATEL

Vikram’s institutional affiliations are the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI). Vikram is Professor of International Mental Health at LSHTM. He is the founder of the Centre for Global Mental Health, a partnership of the LSHTM with Kings Health Partners. Vikram is co-founder of Sangath, an Indian NGO. Vikram played a lead role in setting up the Movement for Global Mental Health. His book “Where There Is No Psychiatrist”, a mental health care manual for non-specialist health workers, has been widely used in developing countries.

MR JAGANNATH LAMICHHANE  

Jagannath was the Principal Co-ordinator of the Movement for Global Mental Health (2013-2016), and Founder of the Nepal Mental Health Foundation. Jagannath is a human rights activist based in Kathmandu, Nepal.

 

PROF SIR GRAHAM THORNICROFT

Graham is Professor of Community Psychiatry at the Centre for Global Mental Health, at King’s College London. Graham is also Director of the King’s Improvement Science, and is Chair of Maudsley International. He chaired the guideline development group for the WHO mhGAP Intervention Guide, and he carries out research into community mental health services, global mental health, and stigma and discrimination.

 

PROF ANIL VARTAK

Anil has PhD in mental health economics from the Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, Pune University, India. Anil currently works as an Associate Professor in Sir Parashurambhau College, Pune University. Anil’s work is informed by his personal experiences with mental health problems. He has special interest in using self-help as a tool for recovery from mental health problems. Anil’s activist zeal and initiative saw the formation of ‘Ekalavya’ a self-help group which did pioneering work in rehabilitation of persons suffering from mental disorders and increasing awareness amongst patients and caregivers in Pune.  Anil is the Vice President of Schizophrenia Awareness Association, Pune and was the Vice President of the All India Federation for Mental Illness (AIFMI is an umbrella organization of user and family organizations working in the field of mental health in India). He has contributed articles in newspapers, magazines as well poems and self-help booklets advocating and emphasising mental health issues.  He has served as a visiting faculty at the International Diploma in Mental Health Law and Human rights, jointly organised by ILS Law College, Pune and the WHO.

MRS CHANTELLE GRADIDGE

Chantelle is a psychology graduate, author, freelance writer and lecturer from South Africa. She has survived many episodes of major depression since the age of 12. Biological members of her family have also been diagnosed with anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder and major depression. Chantelle wants to help build awareness of mental illness, be a voice for those who are too afraid to speak out, and ensure that they have access to efficient facilities when they seek help.

MR CAMERON HARRIS

Cameron is a retired trainer for the Federal Government and youth worker of a large school, from Brisbane, Australia. His role as a trainer involved policy support, writing and presenting training, statistical interpretation on performance, ensuring best practice. As a youth worker he supported young boys with havioural problems and coordinated a team that focussed on the welfare of the children. His interest in mental health commenced after being diagnosed with major depressive disorder, which led him to become involved in consumer health groups and got involved in supporting hospital staff through a consumer carers group. Cameron contributed to nationwide peer support training modules. Apart from being an advocate for Mental Health, he also advocates for Aboriginal Australians who often deal with issues of trauma and high prevalence rates of suicide among this group. He runs a support network via a Facebook page called “Mental Health Friend”.

PROF LESLIE SWARTZ

Leslie Swartz was born in Zimbabwe in 1955.  He is currently a Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Stellenbosch University, South Africa.  He is a clinical psychologist registered with the South African Health Professions Council (qualified in 1983) and holds a PhD in Psychology from University of Cape Town (1990).  He is founding editor in chief of African Journal of Disability and associate editor of Transcultural Psychiatry and International Journal of Disability, Development and Education.  He was a founder member of the Alan J Flisher Centre for Public Mental Health, the first such centre of its kind in Africa, and a joint collaboration between Stellenbosch University and University of Cape Town.  He has published widely on issues of disability and mental health in southern Africa, and has produced over 300 scholarly outputs.  He completed an evaluation of the Australian Transcultural Mental Health Network for the Australian Commonwealth Government, and was Lead Research Partner for the Southern African Federation of the Disabled, and ran research capacity development training for disability activists in ten southern African countries.  He is recognised as an internationally rated researcher by the National Research Foundation (South Africa), and was awarded the Stals Prize for Psychology by the South African Academy of Arts and Sciences.  He has acted as South African PI on a number of projects related to empowerment, disability, and mental health, and has attracted considerable funding for community-based research.  He is regularly sought out to participate in international meetings and has been keynote speaker at a number of international conferences.  He has been a mentor to many more junior faculty and graduate students and has supervised over 30 PhDs to successful completion.  He has a particular interest in the development of younger scholars from non-traditional backgrounds, working closely to develop the careers of scholars with disabilities, including psychosocial disabilities, and with women and black scholars.  Selected current projects focus on empowerment, language and access to mental health care, issues related to the training of black medical specialists in South Africa, cultural issues in the experience of psychological distress, and citizenship and participation in the lives of people with disabilities.

PROF CRICK LUND

Crick Lund, BA (Hons), MA, MSocSci (Clinical Psychology), PhD, is Professor and Director of the Alan J. Flisher Centre for Public Mental Health, Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, University of Cape Town. He is currently CEO of the PRogramme for Improving Mental health carE (PRIME), a DFID funded research consortium focusing on the integration of mental health into primary care in low resource settings in Ethiopia, India, Nepal, South Africa and Uganda, and Principal Investigator of the AFrica Focus on Intervention Research for Mental health (AFFIRM) U19 NIMH Collaborative Hub. He trained as a clinical psychologist at the University of Cape Town and was subsequently involved in developing post-apartheid norms for mental health services for the national Department of Health. He has also worked for the World Health Organisation (WHO), on the development of the WHO Mental Health Policy and Service Guidance Package, and consulted to Lesotho, Namibia, Indonesia, South Africa and Zimbabwe on mental health policy and planning.  His research interests lie in mental health policy, service planning and the relationship between poverty and mental health in low and middle-income countries.

DR LAWRENCE GOLDBERG  

Lawrence is an American psychiatrist interested in programs to scale up mental health resources in LMIC countries. He spent some time in India in 2014 assisting with and observing one of Prof Vikram Patel's projects there, and is slated to go to Bhutan from September-November to deliver training. His regular employment in the US is with a private health insurance company. He would like to find a way to become more active in advising or designing projects to further universal health coverage. 

 

PROF GARY BELKIN

Dr. Belkin is the Executive Deputy Commissioner of Mental Hygiene in the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. The Division of Mental Hygiene was instrumental in creating the framework for ThriveNYC and changing the conversation about mental health as a public health necessity. Before DOHMH, Dr. Belkin was the Medical Director for Behavioral Health in the Health and Hospitals Corporation of the City of New York, which operates 11 public hospitals in New York City. Dr. Belkin has served as Chief of Psychiatry at Bellevue Hospital and has led large delivery systems and policy development in urban health settings through advancing innovative approaches to public mental health. He was Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine, and founding Director of the NYU Program in Global Mental Health, which was developed to advance innovative implementation and policy approaches to scale and improve population mental health strategies.

MS CHANTELLE BOOYSEN

Chantelle is an independent contractor with an entrepreneurial spirit and business management experience that consults and contracts to various different entities. She is a Mindful Revolution Ambassador, an organisation that promotes mindfulness practises and tools to people from all walks of life. She is also part of the Mindful Runner organisation that assists people in nurturing a healthy, active lifestyle and provide regular guidance and coaching through a live and online platform. She is currently studying law (LLB) part time and hope to be involved with legislation, human rights and regulation particularly around mental health issues globally. She was diagnosed with Bipolar II last year (2016) and subsequently been involved with advocacy for people with mental health concerns. Mental health has played a big part in her family history which re-enforces her passion for advocacy in this field.

MR DAN TAYLOR

Dan Taylor is a strong mental health activist from Accra, Ghana who received training in journalism and marketing. In 2004, Dan Taylor co-founded MindFreedom Ghana, a NGO committed to fighting for the human rights and dignity of persons with mental disabilities in Ghana. MindFreedom’s core areas of work are advocacy, awareness creation, prevention and research. MindFreedom Ghana has had grants on different occasions from the Disability Rights Fund to implement various activities bordering on advocacy, awareness creation and lobbying which have culminated in outcomes such as in 2012, the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities UNCRPD) in Ghana and the enactment of modern legislation on mental health with various human rights biases. Grants from the World Health Organization, USAID, Comic Relief UK, Disability Rights Fund and individuals in Ghana and outside have been received to organize various activities geared towards the promotion of the rights of persons with psychosocial disabilities throughout the country. Under Dan’s leadership, MindFreedom Ghana had undertaken various activities such as street marches, a documentary and community outreach activities that have drawn attention to issues of mental health, human rights, respect for the dignity and inclusion of persons with psychosocial disabilities in all aspects of daily living. Dan represents his organization in the National Disability and Human Rights Network of Ghana. Dan has both attended and acted as a resource person at various local and international platforms involving psychosocial disability and human rights.

MS LINDA LEE

Linda Lee, M.Sc. (Clinical Psychology) and graduate of the International Diploma program in Mental Health, Law and Human Rights manages Mental Health Worldwide which is an inclusive global network of individuals and organizations all working to advance the human rights and conditions in mental health. Linda, with the help of some of her colleagues from the International Diploma program, founded the Mental Health Worldwide website and google group for the launch of the WHO report on Development and Mental Health in 2010. Mental Health Worldwide is volunteerpowered and continued after the launch of the WHO report because of the value of the google group to share information and requests from around the world regarding human rights and mental health concerns. At the time, very few similar resources were available. Now as more and more platforms and resources are being established Mental Health Worldwide will likely be phased out. Linda is honored to be able to continue her advocacy role in mental health and human rights as an advisory board member for the Movement for Global Mental Health.

ADV NIGEL CARPENTER

Nigel is an Advocate of the High Court with 26 years’ experience and has a B. Comm and LLB degrees. He is currently employed by the National Prosecuting Authority as a Senior Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions in Mafikeng and was previously stationed at Mthatha. Since 2010 Nigel has been in charge of the Mental Health Portfolio at both of the Director of Public Prosecutions offices. He has extensive experience in drafting and interpreting legislation. Nigel has extensive experience in the legislative framework involved with mental health, especially in the criminal law environment. In terms of the applicable legislation he has acted as the Official Curator ad litem for all persons treated in terms of sections 77 – 79 of the Criminal Procedure Act and the Mental Health Act. This involves the overseeing and signing off of the procedures implemented for all persons observed at Psychiatric Hospitals in terms of the Criminal Procedure Act. He also advises advocates and public prosecutors on the implementation of applicable legislation and court judgments. In order to improve the treatment of persons suffering from mental health issues he has drafted official circulars and pro forma documents for the NPA prosecutors of the Province to help them deal with the implementation of legislation and court judgments. He is part of the NPA Task Team dealing with proposed amendments to the Criminal Procedure Act and the Mental Health Act. Nigel has attended the bi-annual Interdepartmental Forensic Mental Health Conferences, hosted by the Department of Health, in 2009, 2011 and 2013. Nigel has assisted the management and psychiatrists at the Bophelong Psychiatric Hospital with legislative matters. In 2013 Nigel was involved in an incident which resulted in him being diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He has been under treatment since 2013 for PTSD and accompanying depression, anxiety and associated mental health issues. Nigel has first-hand experience of the widespread misunderstanding by society and stigmatism attached to persons suffering from mental health issues. He is now passionate about changing society’s perceptions, general ignorance and treatment of persons suffering from mental health issues. He also wants to bring about legislative amendments so that persons suffering from mental health issues are treated with the dignity they deserve, that their human rights are respected and that they are not marginalized and become a forgotten sector of society.

MS JANE SOSOO

Jane Sosoo is originally from Cote d’Ivoire. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. As an undergraduate, she was very active in international organizations and in the department of psychology. In 2010 with the help of her friends and advisors, she founded the African Student Association in order to offer a platform to African Students to express their culture and fight against stereotypes through festivals, films and conferences. She served as the president of the African Student Association for two years and secretary of the International Association and the African Student representative in the Black Student Association. Her research “The Effects of Names on Personality”, and “Correlational Study on Extraversion and Self Esteem” were presented at conferences, such as the Rocky Mountain Psychological Association Conference. She also interned at the Richard Young Hospital on the Adolescent Unit in Kearney, Nebraska. Upon graduation, she worked on the psychiatric unit of Albany Medical Center, in New York where she provided direct clinical care for psychiatric patients. She was particularly interested in patients whose first language was not English with a culture other than the one they lived in. She believes that patients in this case are at a higher disadvantage because they may be unable to express their symptoms correctly which could lead to misdiagnoses. In her conversation with the patients, she listened actively as the patients described their understanding of the symptoms and the meaning of the illness. She served as a French/Spanish translator between the provider (nurse/doctor) and the patients.  She paid a special attention to their charts in order to make sure that there was not a dichotomy between the symptoms listed and what the patients had told her. Any additional findings were always reported to the nurses. Jane Sosoo is currently pursuing a masters’ degree in Mental Health Counseling at Lincoln Memorial University. Her areas of interest encompass children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, military with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, women with addiction, criminal system and mental illness, and career counseling. She hopes to raise some awareness about these areas in her country of origin where there are many stigmas about mental illness but few mental health providers. Moreover, she plans to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology in the future.

 

MR GARY SEERY

Gary believes in the power of being grateful and maintaining a positive outlook even when dealing with adversity. Gary is an ambassador for SeeChange, since overcoming a mental health illness in 2009/2010 he has been working with SeeChange to try and reduce the stigma related to mental health. As part of Gary's recovery he took up running to see if that would help. Since then, Gary has completed a number of marathons and ultra marathons, his most recent achievement is completing the North Pole marathon in April 2015, he is currently training for other endurance challenges in 2017. Gary passionately believes in running as a means to overcoming a mental illness and in using running to manage our mental health.

                 

DR PAMELA COLLINS

Pamela is the Director of the Office for Research on Disparities and Global Mental Health and the Office of Rural Mental Health Research at the U.S National Institute of Mental Health. She studied cultural psychiatry and applied medical anthropology as a research fellow in the Department of Social Medicine at Harvard Medical College.

DR JULIAN EATON

Julian trained as a psychiatrist, and is now Senior Mental Health Advisor for CBM. His work involves engaging with Governments and other service providers to strengthen mental health systems. He also focuses on promoting CBM’s broader priority of working for an inclusive society where service users are empowered to participate in processes of policy and legislation development, as well as practical aspects of their implementation. CBM aim to promote meaningful application of evidencebased practice, and he has published on issues relating to system strengthening, scaling up mental health services in low income countries, and empowerment of service users. He lived for 13 years in West Africa, initially in Nigeria, and more recently in Lomé, Togo, from where he worked in countries across the region. Since 2015 he has been studying and working at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and working with the Mental Health Innovation Network (MHInnovation.net) team.

PROF GRACIELA ROJAS

Graciela is a surgeon, a specialist in psychiatry and mental health at the University of Chile. She has served on various ministerial committees on the issues of mental health, primary health care, women health and more. She has also played an instrumental role to start nationwide program particularly in the treatment of depressive disorders through primary care.

DR ALEX COHEN

Alex Cohen is an anthropologist whose PhD research was based on ethnographic fieldwork with homeless mentally ill persons living in the Skid Row district of Los Angeles.  Dr Cohen has published work on the mental health of indigenous peoples, the integration of mental health services in primary care, the associations among female literacy, mental health, gender inequities, and excess female mortality in India, and the course and outcome of schizophrenia in low-income countries. He was also a contributor to three articles in The Lancet series on Global Mental Health (2007).  In 2001, he collaborated with Prof Harry Minas to establish the International Mental Health Leadership Program at The University of Melbourne.  Currently, Dr Cohen is one of the Programme Director of the MSc in Global Mental Health, a joint programme offered by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London.  In addition, he is involved in the following research projects: 1) INTREPID – the epidemiology and phenomenology of psychosis in settings in India, Nigeria, and Trinidad; and 2) a pilot study to develop an intervention to prevent late-life depression in Goa, India.

DR RITZ KAKUMA

Ritz is a Senior Research Fellow at the Global and Cultural Mental Health Unit, Centre for Mental Health, Melbourne School of Population & Global Health, The University of Melbourne. Her research are primarily based in low and middle income settings and include mental health policy and system, human resources for mental health, mental health stigma and discrimination, knowledge translation, and health research capacity development.

MS KATHRYN GOETZKE

Kathryn Goetzke is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, strategic consultant and global depression advocate. She is the entrepreneur and innovator behind Mood-lites™, a brand that achieved over 35 million dollars in retail sales. As her role as Chief Mood Officer at The Mood Factory (http://themoodfactory.com/), her goal is to ‘Improve Moods’ by teaching consumers how to get in the present moment through engaging senses. Armed with an MBA in International Marketing, an undergraduate degree in Psychology, and over 20 years of experience with small and Fortune 100 companies, she aims to do just that with her new line of product based on how scents impact moods. The Mood Factory did the first national cause marketing campaign for mental health, and with it created Schools for Hope, a curriculum aimed at teaching hope based on research it is a teachable skill.  Goetzke is also a founder of iFred, the International Foundation for Research and Education on Depression (www.ifred.org), with a mission to shine a positive light on depression and eliminate the stigma associated with the disease through prevention, research and education. Its goal is to ensure 100% of the 350 million people affected by depression seek and receive treatment. The organization launched an award-winning curriculum called Schools for Hope (www.schoolsforhope.org), free and available online, with lessons helping children age 8-12 define, create, strengthen, and maintain hope throughout life.  Goetzke and her work has been featured in Entrepreneur Magazine, Home, InStyle, Family Living, Scholastic Choices Magazine, and others. She has spoken at the United Nations (www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5_hVDkWQTo&feature=youtu.be) twice, the Global Mental Health Movement Athens Conference, at Mental Health Community Associations Conference, the Scent Marketing Institute, and more. She has been featured on multiple radio and television shows including BBC, WGN Chicago, CBS Chicago, Tasty Trade, and eWomenNetwork. Goetzke is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and PsychCentral, and writes regularly for iFred and The Mood Factory. She serves on advisory boards for FundaMentalSDG and the Global Mental Health Movement.

 

PROF FRANCISCO ORTEGA

Francisco is Associate Professor at the Institute for Social Medicine of the State University of Rio de Janeiro and Research director of the Rio Center for Global Health at the State University of Rio de Janeiro. He is also Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine of King’s College, London. He was invited professor at the Institute of Social Sciences, University of Buenos Aires, at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science of Berlin, at the Institute of Political Science, Oldenburg University and at the University of Bielefeld. His research examines the many emerging ‘neuro-disciplines’ such as neuroethics, cultural neuroscience, neuroaesthetics, and the cerebralization of autism and other psychiatric disorders. In addition, he has undertaken qualitative research on the mechanisms of social and personal identity formation in individuals diagnosed with autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in Brazil and on the challenges for implementing global mental health policies in Brazil. His many books include (With Fernando Vidal) Being Brains. Making the Cerebral Subject. New York: Fordham University Press, 2017; Corporeality, Medical Technologies and Contemporary Culture. London: Routledge, 2014; (With Fernando Vidal) Neurocultures. Glimpses into an expanding universe. Frankfurt and New York: Peter Lang, 2011.

MRS BHARTI PATEL

Bharti is the National Director of the South African Federation for Mental Health, where the MGMH Secretariat is based. She serves on several national committees and boards, including: the Ministerial Advisory Committee for Mental Health, Disability Empowerment Concerns Trust, South African Disability Alliance, Mental Health Alliance, among others.

MS MONA SHARMA

Mona Sharma is a Clinical psychologist with specialization in Cognitive Behavior Therapy. She has a Master’s degree in public mental health from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. She has worked for more than a decade towards community integration of people with severe mental illness, in India, Middle East and USA. Mona has worked with humanitarian aid agencies in providing psychosocial services to displaced populations and training the field staff in psychological first aid. Having lived closely with mental illness for most years of her life, she likes to write narratives on living with mental health issues. She is working with a national group in India for ensuring civil rights and dignity of people living with mental illness.

MS KAREN ATHIÉ

Karen Athié is a psychologist. She is Master in Gender Studies/ Paris 8 and she is concluding her PHD in Sciences in 2017 in the University of State of Rio de Janeiro. During her career she worked as PAHO consultant in the National Primary Care Department in distant continuing education activities in an internet platform, she as well coordinated telehealth activities about primary mental health care in the University Of State of Rio de Janeiro, she was preceptor and matrix supporter in a under - graduated Project about gender and sexuality. In 2015, she had a grant to study during 6 months in the University of Liverpool in the UK with professor Christopher Dowrick. She participated in different post-graduation Programs about Primary Mental health care as a teacher. She worked as volunteer in National refugee committee. Nowadays she is primary mental health care researcher and manager in Rio de Janeiro in a vulnerable region with 230000 covered by 80% of community based primary care teams. These teams are the main mental health care offer in this region without psychosocial community center covering this territory. She is a blogger. She is conducting one about emotional care where she used to share information about mental health issues (https://psicologiaecuidadoemsaude.wordpress.com) and a second one about mental health care network and political mental health issues (https://wordpress.com/stats/insights/saudementalcap10.wordpress.com).  The two last papers she wrote as first author were: “Anxious and depressed women's experiences of emotional suffering and help seeking in a Rio de Janeiro favela” (2017) and “Perceptions of health managers and professionals about mental health and primary care integration in Rio de Janeiro: a mixed methods study” (2016)

MS GAYATHRI RAMPRASAD

Gayathri Ramprasad, MBA, CPS, Mental Health Advocate, Author, and Speaker. Gayathri is the Founder and President of ASHA International www.myasha.org a nonprofit organization promoting personal, organizational, and community wellness through mental health education, training and support. And, the author of Shadows in the Sun: Healing from Depression and Finding the Light Within www.gayathriramprasad.com Her successful battle in overcoming debilitating depression taught her the power of hope and holistic wellness. Now, she shares that message with others. Since the launch of ASHA International’s wellness campaign, Healthy Minds, Healthy Lives in 2006, Gayathri’s keynotes, wellness workshops, and cultural competence trainings have reached more than 50,000 people nationally and internationally with a resounding message of hope and recovery. Individuals and organizations alike applaud Gayathri as an agent of hope and transformational change. Gayathri received her first undergraduate degree in science from Bangalore University in India. She earned a second undergraduate degree in Management and Business Information systems and a Master’s in Business Administration at George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon. She is a Certified Peer Specialist (CPS). And, serves on the Advisory Board of the Movement for Global Mental Health. Gayathri is the winner of many prestigious awards including the Eli Lilly Welcome Back Award for Lifetime Achievement, the Voice Award for Consumer Leadership sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Outstanding Alumna Award from her alma mater George Fox University, the Esperanza Hope Award, and the Lifetime Innovator award presented by the International Association of Peer Supporters. In 2017, Gayathri was awarded the Mental Health Hero award by Trillium Family Services. To see Gayathri’s TED talk Be the Hope, please visit http://myasha.org/2015/05/be-the-hope/

MR SACHIN CHAUDRY

Sachin Chaudhry is the Founder and CEO of TrustCircle, a digital health startup that utilizes mobile technology to make mental health care continuous, accessible, and affordable. Sachin is a social entrepreneur, a believer, and a caregiver who envisions improving mental health care with TrustCircle. On July 17th 2016-Sachin represented TrustCircle @The United Nations as an official delegate #novussummit - to support United Nations 17 goals for sustainable world #SDGs. As per The World Health Organization, depression is now the leading cause of global mental and physical disability. There is a huge gap in the demand and supply of mental health care services globally. This mental health care gap is the world’s most challenging and underserved problems our humanity is facing and is leading to a global epidemic. @trustcircle we are on a mission to bridge this mental health care gap and believe there is no health without mental health. Sachin is leading a team of social entrepreneurs, physicians, engineers, designers, researchers, and caregivers who have experienced broken and inefficient mental health care system first hand and therefore are passionate to change the status quo. Together as a team, we are working towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG #3.4), 2015-2030 - to promote mental health and well-being. Sachin also serves as an Advisory Board Member at Society of Rehabilitation for Mentally Challenged in India. Sachin began his career as a software developer and rose to the ranks of IT leader in technology startups and Fortune 500-ranked organizations. He holds a B.S. in Computer Science and Engineering from the National Institute of Technology, India and an MBA from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

 

MR AKHILESHWAR SAHAY

Akhileshwar Sahay, decades sufferer of Bipolar Disorder holds a Masters in Management degree from Asian Institute of Management, Manila and Masters in Mathematics degree from Patna University, India. He is an ex Government of India senior officer and works as a Management Consultant, Writer, Author, Social Worker and Mental Health Activist. Mr. Sahay is ex-Member of Government of India (GOI) Mental Health Policy Group and currently is part of the GOI Gommittee to draft Rules and Regulations for Mental Health Care Act, 2017. He is also Principal Instigator of Action Group: Mission Zero Suicide- India and of Whole Mind India Foundation (WMIF), an institution dedicated to make difference to life and times of Mentally Ill in India