PANAJI: Eminent psychiatrist and co-founder of Goa based mental health research institute Sangath, Dr Vikram Patel has been awarded the 2016 Pardes Humanitarian Prize in Mental Health by the New York based Brain & Behaviour Research Foundation for his transformative work in advancing mental health care in resource-poor counties.
The 2016 Pardes Humanitarian Prize in Mental Health annually recognizes individuals who have contributed to mental health and who have improved the lives of people suffering from mental illness. The prize's honorarium of $3,00,000 will be presented to the awardees on Friday, October 28, in New York City.
Patel who will be attending the award ceremony along with his wife says he is honored and humbled and will accept the award on behalf of the millions struggling with mental illness, majority of whom live in the developing world and have limited access to appropriate mental health care. "I pledge to redouble my efforts to address the burden of mental health problems globally, especially amongst those who are socially disadvantaged or living in low resource settings," he says.
In 2015 Patel was recognized by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world and he has been addressing the void of mental health care in developing countries as well as the grave shortage of psychologists and psychiatrists. A vocal advocate for the development of mental health services in these countries, he promotes practical solutions to improving mental health care by teaching ordinary people to deliver front-line mental health care to make up for the lack of care for people with mental illness.
Charles F Reynolds has been awarded for his pioneering work in geriatric psychiatry and the prevention and treatment of late-life depression and the late Senator Edward M Kennedy has been given an honorary tribute for his powerful and unwavering commitment to advocating on behalf of people with mental illness.