November 2010
Activities of WPA Zone 16 - Southern Asia

E. MohandasAcademic Events


1. Apart from the regular annual state conferences, there were five Zonal Conferences in Psychiatry. The focus was on research methodology, psychosocial rehabilitation, physical health of mentally ill, consultation liaison psychiatry, and women’s mental health.

2. The five Zones of the Indian Psychiatric Society organized a Zonal Postgraduate CME programs in the respective zones.

3. The 10th World Congress of WAPR held at NIMHANS, Bangalore (12-15 November 2009) witnessed the participation of 920 delegates from 54 countries.

4. The First Indoglobal Psychiatric Initiative (IGPI) meeting was held on 16 January 2010 at Jaipur. The meeting deliberated upon proposed classification for DSM V/ICD 11, cultural psychiatry and recent developments in schizophrenia and mood disorders. The speakers included Pedro Ruiz (WPA President-Elect), Dinesh Bhugra (President, Royal College of Psychiatrists), Matchery Keshavan (Vice Chair, Harvard University), Rajiv Tandon, Meera Narasimhan, Sanjay Dube, Dilip Jeste, Pratap Sharan, Ajit Avasthi, Shiv Gautam, Russell D’Souza, and Suresh Sundram, among others.

WAPR 10th World Congress.5. The Annual Conference of the Indian Psychiatric Society was held at Jaipur on 17-21 January 2010. Almost 3000 plus delegates including 50 international faculties deliberated upon diverse areas in psychiatry. The World Psychiatric Association was represented by Profs. Mario Maj, Pedro Ruiz, and Helen Herrman. The APA President Alan Schatzberg, and the Royal College of Psychiatrists President Dinesh Bhugra, spoke on the occasion. The stalwarts of Indian Psychiatry Society, Asian Federation of Psychiatric Association, South Asian Forum International and the experts from sister organizations (Indo–American Psychiatric Association, Indo-Australian Psychiatric Association, British Indian Psychiatric Association, Indo-Canadian Psychiatric Association, and Indo-New Zealand Psychiatric Association) contributed significantly in academics. Two books ‘Physical Health of Mentally Ill’ and ‘Neurobiology of Psychiatric Disorders’ by the IPS publication committee were released. The drafts of ‘Women’s Mental Health’ and ‘Status Report on Psychosocial Rehabilitation’ were also released on the occasion. The WPA publication ‘Contemporary Topics in Women’s Mental Health’ was also released by Helen Herrman, Prabha Chandra, and P. Murthy along with leaders in Women’s Mental Health. The conference focused on the theme ‘Family, culture and Mental Health’. The Young Psychiatrists Forum was an innovative attempt.

6. Indian Association of Biological Psychiatry (IABP) conducted the mid-term conference on 17 April 2010 in New Delhi. The topics included pharmacogenomics, recent trends in addiction research and a debate on Aetiology puzzle of Schizophrenia.

7. European Psychiatric Association - First Knowledge Exchange Programme (1-2 May, New Delhi)
Around 400 participants attended the meeting. Speakers included Hans Moller, Sigfied Kasper, Cyril Hoschle, Ajit Avasti, MS Reddy, M. Magroob, and Deepak Raheja. The programme coordinator was V. Jhanvar. The scientific session and interaction were facilitated by E. Mohandas and A. Seth.

8. Indian Psychiatric Society-South Zone Postgraduate CME was held at Chennai (12-13 June 2010).
The theme was ‘Research in Indian Psychiatry’.

IndoGlobal Psychiatry Initiative.9. The Third Child Psychiatry Workshop at Mumbai (26-31 July 2010). The third child Psychiatry, a five-day skill building workshop, was organized by Profs. Shastri, Kamath, Henal Shah, Dr. Alka Subramaniam, and Jay Shastri under the banner of the WPA Section on Psychiatry in Developing Countries, WPA Zone 16, SAFI, and AFPA. The participants were from Mongolia, Cambodia, Fiji, and India.

10. Indian Psychiatric Society National Mid-Term Conference was held at Aurangabad (7-8 August 2010). The focus of the conference was Interface of Psychiatry and Medical disorders.

11. Workshop on “Learning Disabilities” in Collaboration with the Royal College of Psychiatrists (August 2010) was held at Kottayam as an activity of the Rehabilitation section of the Indian Psychiatric Society.

12. There were conferences of Indian Association of Private Psychiatry, Indian Association of Social Psychiatry and periodic scientific meetings of Indian Psychiatric Society local chapters.


The WPA Regional Meeting in Dhaka (21-23 January 2010) along with the annual conference of the Bangladesh Psychiatric Association witnessed an academic event with special focus on Disaster Management. WPA President, WPA President-Elect, Board Members of the WPA, office bearers of AFPA, SAFI, the Royal College of Psychiatrists, and the Bangladesh Psychiatric Association were among the 400 plus delegates.

ANCIPS 2010, Jaipur.Sri Lanka

The Sri Lankan College of Psychiatrists Conference (26-28 February 2010) in collaboration with the Royal College and Sri Lankan Psychiatric Association in the UK attracted 300 plus delegates. The conference included workshops and symposia with special focus on Child Psychiatry, Disaster Interventions, Physical Health of Mentally Ill, and Mental Health Scenario in Sri Lanka.

Training Programme in other countries

1. Sri Lanka: A three member team from India conducted sessions on Psychiatric Aspects of Cardiovascular Disease, HIV, and Thyroid Dysfunction. A workshop on Psychopathology was also conducted.

2. Bangladesh: A team of 10 faculties conducted sessions/workshops on Addiction Psychiatry, Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia during the WPA Regional Meeting in Dhaka.

3. Cambodia: Dr. Sreekala Bharath of NIMHANS, Bangalore conducted workshops on School Mental Health Program using Life Skills Approach for Adolescents in Schools and Psychosocial Care in disaster management at Cambodia; each lasted three days.

Inter Zonal Collaboration

Prof. Naotaka Shinfuku, the Zonal Representative for Zone 17, facilitated the co-ordination of Zonal Representatives of Zones 10, 16 and 17 at the Second World Congress of Asian Psychiatry in Taipei. It was organized by the Taiwanese Society of Psychiatry (TSOP) and the Asian Federation of Psychiatric Associations (AFPA) (7-10 November 2009). First AFPA awards for Excellence in Developing Psychiatry to four countries, namely Cambodia, Cook Islands, Fiji and Sri Lanka were declared there.

Interaction with other Organizations

The interaction at the 4th Biennial Conference of International Society of Bipolar Disorders at Sao Paulo (17-20 March 2010), Disaster Intervention workshop at APA, New Orleans in May 2010 as a part of the WPA Section on Disaster Psychiatry and CINP in Hong Kong in June helped to draw the future roadmap for the zone. The Indian Psychiatric Society is having a tie-up with AAPI (American Association of Physicians of Indian origin) in selected projects.

Dr. Mohandas with APA President Alan Schatzberg at ANCIPS 2010, Jaipur.Involvement in WPA Initiatives

The Zone participated actively in many WPA initiated activities specially the surveys on ‘Reducing the treatment gap of mental disorders’, WHO-WPA ICD 11 survey, and the draft recommendations on “Best practice in working with service users and carers”. The zone is collaborating in the research project as part of ‘No Health without Mental Health’.

Membership Drive

The efforts of increasing membership and involvement of psychiatric organizations under the WPA umbrella are bearing fruits.


The Ministry of Health in India and Mental Health Authority are in active discussion with the Indian Psychiatric Society on areas like Mental Health Act (modification) and the Psychiatric Education both at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

E. Mohandas
WPA Zonal Representative for Zone 16 (Southern Asia)




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