Chesmal Siriwardhana Memorial Lecture

The world is facing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis in which one in 70 people worldwide is caught up in a crisis that requires urgent humanitarian assistance. Political upheaval, famine and natural disasters have resulted in the largest movement of displaced individuals in history, and with it, some of the most significant public health challenges of our time.

This year’s memorial lecture will focus on the mental health of post-humanitarian crisis migrants, forced into displacement by armed conflict in Sri-Lanka and Syria, and natural disasters, in Peru.

The lecture will commence with two speed talks on scaling up trans-diagnostic mental health services in conflict-effected populations, and the psychosocial effects of El Niño in the northern coast of Peru. This will be followed by a keynote presentation on the mental health prevalence and treatment pathways for primary care attendees in post-conflict Northern Sri Lanka, a project that Dr Chesmal Siriwardhana led in 2017, before Dr Shannon Doherty became Principle Investigator.


About the speakers

Dr Shannon Doherty (keynote speaker): Shannon is a Senior Lecturer in Public Health at Anglia Ruskin University, leading modules in Health Communication, Projects to Enhance Health, and Addictions and Communicable Disease Management. She is also the Principal Investigator for COMGAP-S, a project which seeks to integrate mental health services into primary care for conflict-affected populations in Northern Province, Sri Lanka. Dr Doherty is a public mental health specialist, with research interests in migration and health, behaviour change, and research ethics.

Professor Bayard Roberts: Bayard is the Director of the Centre for Global Chronic Conditions at LSHTM, and Editor-in-Chief of the BMC journal Conflict and Health. His research addresses the health determinants, policies and systems of countries experiencing major social change such as those affected by armed conflict and forced migration. His research has focused particularly on chronic conditions of mental health and non-communicable diseases, and harmful health behaviours such as tobacco and harmful alcohol use.

Dr Elaine C. Flores: Elaine is a Peruvian physician, epidemiologist, and PhD candidate at the Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). She is a member of the Centre for Global Mental Health at LSHTM and the Research Unit for emerging diseases and Climate Change at Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, in Peru. Elaine’s doctoral thesis investigates the effects related to the phenomenon of "El Niño", on mental health in Tumbes, Peru and its association with social capital as a resilience tool. Elaine is especially interested in mental health in vulnerable populations, social inequalities, crises and disasters and health problems related to the environment and climate change.

About the memorial lecture

The Centre for Global Mental Health at LSHTM and King’s College London host an annual lecture to commemorate Dr Chesmal Siriwardhana who was an Associate Professor at LSHTM. He died in an accident in 2017.

The annual lectures are broadly themed around humanitarian crisis and mental health, in alignment with Dr Siriwardhana’s expertise in armed conflict, migration and mental health. To find out more about Dr Siriwardhana, please click here.

Humanitarian and conflict health
Human rights
All disorders
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