Older Adult Mental Health Awareness Week
International Psychogeriatric Association

Older Adult Mental Health Awareness Week
1-10 October 2021

6 October: Voices from South Asia Panel Presentation

As part of Older Adult Mental Health Awareness Week, we are excited to offer this panel discussion "Mental healthcare services and advocacy for the older people amidst COVID crisis: Voices from South Asia" organized in conjunction with the World Psychiatric Association, Indian Psychiatric Society, SAARC Psychiatric Federation, and the Asian Federation of Psychiatric Associations.

Asia has some of the fastest developing economies and largest conglomerations of populations in the world. One such geographically unique region is South Asia, which accounts for nearly 25% of the global population and one-fifth of the psychiatric morbidity worldwide. This region is also ageing rapidly compared to rest of the world due to modifications in healthcare facilities, hygiene, and lifestyle as well as improved sanitation and infection control. Besides, some of the South Asian countries have also been worst-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic which has led to an exaggerated psychosocial crisis among their older people. Many of these nations face issues with community psychiatric care, trained manpower, socio-economic resources, legislation catering to psychological care and health inequalities. However, recent years have also witnessed paradigm shift in mental health policies, infrastructure and technology among these nations. Climate changes, migration, displacement and ecological characteristics further make South Asia unique in mental health needs and challenges.

With this background, leaders in the field of psychogeriatric care from some of the South Asian nations come together to discuss and highlight upcoming strategies for mental health advocacy and service delivery among older people in these regions. Mutual collaboration and cross-country research are globally called upon.


Organizer and Moderator: Dr Debanjan Banerjee
Consultant Geriatric Psychiatrist

Panelist: Dr. Afzal Javed
President, World Psychiatric Association

Panelist: Dr. Gautam Saha
President, Indian Psychiatric Society

Panelist: Dr. Sudarshan Narsingh
President, Psychiatrists' Association of Nepal & President, SAARC Psychiatric Federation

Panelist: Dr. G.Prasad Rao
President, Indian Association of Geriatric Mental Health

Panelist: Dr. Waziul Alam Chowdhury
President, Bangladesh Association of Psychiatrists