Professor Vikram Patel MSc MRCPsych PhD FMedSci

Professor of International Mental Health & Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow


I am a psychiatrist with a primary interest in global mental health. My passion is to contribute to the goal of improving access to mental health care and promoting the human rights of people with mental disorders worldwide. The Wellcome Trust has supported my work since 1996 and I have been a Senior Research Fellow in Clinical Science since 2005. I was the Founding and Joint Director of the Centre for Global Mental Health, a partnership of the LSHTM with Kings Health Partners ( and handed over this role to Professor Ricardo Araya in October 2014. I am based for most of the year in New Delhi where I am Joint Director of the Centre for Chronic Conditions and Injuries at the Public Health Foundation of India, and in Goa working with Sangath, a mental health research NGO which I co-founded with other local colleagues in 1997. Since 2011, I have served on two Government of India health committees, the Mental Health Policy Group and the National Rural Health Mission ASHA Mentoring Group.

I consider five contributions as being especially significant in my work. First, I am a co-founder of Sangath (, a NGO which collaborates with the LSHTM on several projects in the areas of child development, adolescent health and mental health. Sangath won the MacArthur Foundation's International Prize in 2008 and is a pioneer of task-sharing for mental health care to primary care and community based workers. Second, I have been an editor of the influential Lancet series on global mental health (2007) and its second series on the same subject (2011) and the PLoS Medicine series on packages of care for mental disorders (2009) and the series on Global Mental Health Practice (2012 onwards); I was also editor of the Lancet series on universal health care in India (2011) and the International Journal of Epidemiology series on global mental health and psychiatric epidemiology (2014). Third, I have been a leader in setting up the new Movement for Global Mental Health (, a global coalition of professionals and civil society working together to improve the lives of people affected by mental illness. Fourth, I have led efforts to identify research priorities in global mental health, most recently as the co-chair of the Grand Challenges in Global Mental Health ( Finally, I wrote the book "Where There Is No Psychiatrist", a mental health care manual for non-specialist health workers, which is widely used in developing countries. I am editor of two recent OUP textbooks on global mental health ("Global Mental Health: Principles and Practice" and "Global Mental Health Trials").




I have played a key role in the establishment of our Masters in Global Mental Health program (jointly run with the Institute of Psychiatry, London) which was launched in the academic year 2012-13. I chair the Exam Board for this program and have helped design and teach on some of the core modules. I also teach on an annual one week intensive Short Course on Research Methods in Global Mental Health (also jointly with the IoP) in London each year in August/September. I also coordinate a flagship short courses run by Sangath in India on Leadership in Mental Health ( which aims to impart skills on scaling up services for people with mental disorders. Finally, I supervise a number of PhD students in the fields of global mental health and/or public health in India.


My main research in recent years has been on the social and cultural determinants, epidemiology and treatment of mental disorders in community and primary health care settings in India and other resource poor settings. Examples of my major research contributions include: the burden of mental disorders and suicide in young people; the association of poverty and gender based violence with depression and suicide; the relationship of mental disorders with other health priorities such as gynecological morbidities, adolescent health, HIV/AIDS and maternal and child health; and the development and evaluation of interventions for mental disorders integrated in routine care settings including in schools and primary health care. Recently, I have become increasingly involved in researching child mental disorders and developmental disabilities, in research on chronic diseases which seeks to integrate mental health care with that for other chronic diseases, and on using mhealth innovations in improving access to and quality of care.

Research areas

  • Adolescent health
  • Child health
  • Clinical trials
  • Complex interventions
  • Economic evaluation
  • Global Health
  • Health services research
  • Impact evaluation
  • Implementation research
  • Mixed methods
  • Mobile technologies
  • Primary care
  • Public health
  • Randomised controlled trials
  • Schools
  • Social and structural determinants of health
  • Substance abuse
  • Violence


  • Epidemiology
  • Medicine
  • Psychology

Disease and Health Conditions

  • Disability
  • Mental health
  • Neurological disease
  • Non-communicable diseases


  • South Asia
  • Sub-Saharan Africa (all income levels)


  • Ethiopia
  • India
  • Nepal
  • Pakistan
  • South Africa
  • Uganda

Other interests

  • Adolescence
  • Child Development
  • Child Disability
  • Community Based Health Agents
  • Community Health Volunteers
  • Community Health Workers
  • Community health services
  • Dementia
  • Developing countries
  • ELearning
  • Epilepsy
  • Gender Based Violence
  • cost effectiveness
  • epidemiology
  • global health
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