Gauthamadas Udipi

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Gauthamadas Udipi is a professor and renowned [1] [2][3][4] psychiatrist in Chennai in India who has been acclaimed for his contribution to the field of disaster mental health in the aftermath of the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami.

Contribution to disaster mental health[edit]

Dr. Gauthamadas has been acclaimed as an expert in disaster psychosocial response.[5] His work has left a mark on the psychosocial involvement of women survivors in disaster mitigation.[6] He is credited with coining the term Community Counselor to refer to survivors from disaster affected communities who are utilized to provide counseling to traumatized fellow survivors.[7] In the aftermath of the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami Dr. Gautham decided to lend his expertise to alleviating trauma of the disaster stricken.[8][9][10] Taking charge as director of the disaster management psycho-social intervention program of the National Lutheran Health and Medical Board, he propounded a post-disaster "Social Transformation" framework[11][12] and implemented it successfully[8] to provide long-term disaster health care and psychosocial intervention projects in 51 tsunami-affected villages in the Cuddalore District of Tamil Nadu,[13] 156 quake affected villages in Kashmir,[14][15][16] and flood affected villages in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.[17] Dr. Gautham was instrumental in creating a 1000 member strong Disaster Preparedness Youth Task Force in 50 Tsunami affected villages in Cuddalore district in Tamil Nadu.[9][18] His views on designing the health care disaster relief team feature in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Mission 2009 document.[19]

One of his unique programs was to link communities affected by disasters so that disaster relief and preparedness knowledge may be shared.[20][21]

His team has the distinction of being the only group offering medical relief to quake survivors during the deep winter in Indian Kashmir.[22][23][24]

Dr. Gautham organised five international workshops, the reports of which have been widely circulated [25] and are said to have been instrumental in shaping the Sri Lanka government’s Disaster Management Road Map.[26][27][28] The National Disaster Management Authority of India invited him to review the draft of National Disaster Management Guidelines – Psychosocial Support and Mental Health Services and incorporated his suggestions into the final document.

Status papers on "Social Transformation of Communities Affected by Natural Disasters" and "Psychosocial intervention in complex disasters" by Dr. Gautham, helped to implement recovery in the tsunami-affected communities.[29][30][31][32][33] The training module for creating "community support leaders" developed by Gautham helped transform educated unemployed women in disaster-affected regions into community leaders who were respected and looked up to.[34][35]

His model for crisis intervention in large-scale disasters using "lay community counsellors"[36] was used to set up the Community Counselor project in which 2500 villagers of 51 tsunami-affected villages in Cuddalore district were trained as lay community counsellors and provided succor to nearly 100,000 villagers affected by the trauma of the tsunami.[37][38]

Dr. Gautham's Handbook for Community Counselor Trainers[39] is cataloged by the Library of Congress,[40] National Library of the Government of India [41] and recommended by the Disaster Risk Management Team of UNDP and the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India and forms part of the government of India's Disaster Risk Management Program toolkit for "Mainstreaming Disability in Disaster Management."[42] It is recommended by the Australian Disability and Development consortium [43] and was cataloged by UNHCR's Humanitarian Library and the Tamil Nadu Government Library.[44] It has been quoted in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Mission 2009 document on the "Tsunami threat in the Pacific,"[45] and the internationally acclaimed Community Based Psychosocial Services in Humanitarian Assistance Facilitators Guide.[46] The handbook is one of the recommended material by the Association for Development of Education in Africa.[47] The book has been translated into Japanese[48] and has been used for counselling the traumatised survivors of Japan's worst-ever disaster (combined earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear leak) of 2011. It has also been translated into Romanian.[49]

A bilingual (English and Tamil) "Safety and Preparedness Coloring and Activity Book" for children to prepare them to face day-to-day crises and future disasters designed by Dr. Gautham has been appreciated by the Education Department of the government of Tamil Nadu.

Other significant contributions[edit]

Dr. Gautham has also written book on Applied Psychology for Police Officers, published by Tamil Nadu Police Training Academy, Applied Child Development for Pre Primary Teachers as part of distance education course material for pre-primary teachers, published by Annamalai University, and Disaster Management published by the Christian Institute of Management.

His articles in Tamil on parenting teenage children have been compiled into a popular handbook on parenting teenagers titled "Ek Do teen".[50]

He has served on the course material team of the Open University Business School, British Open University (2000 to 2004).

Accredited as an associate faculty by the Open University Business School, UK he taught on their Executive MBA program in India from 1997 to 2003. During this tenure he had the distinction of being the only faculty from India to serve as a discussion leader in the worldwide (8000+ strong) online student discussion forum for four years running.

Dr. Gautham helped to set up the post-graduate diploma in pre-primary education through distance education in 1990 and authored the course materials in applied child development for teachers.

In 1996, the Child-to-Child Trust, London, invited Dr. Gautham to set up the Child-to-Child South India Resource Group and serve as its honorary director, a post that he held till 1999 when the assignment of the group was completed. The group, composed of experts in the field, monitored, guided, and provided training for projects funded by the trust in South India.

Dr. Gautham was instrumental in getting the University of Madras to introduce concessions for students with learning disabilities in 2004.

The course designed and taught by him at California Lutheran University was a trendsetter.[51]

Academic positions[edit]

Dr. Gautham is professor and head of the Department of Psychiatry at MAP Institute of Medical Sciences and Research. A Chennai psychiatrist, he set up the Department of Mental Health at Raja Muthiah Medical College, Annamalai University in 1988 and the Child Behaviour and Development Clinic in 1989, which received recognition by the World Health Organization. The WHO invited him to serve as the sole resource person from India for the WHO Early Childhood Care and Development program in developing countries from 1993 to 1996.

He has been an academic council member of the Annamalai University (1993 to 1995) and the autonomous MOP Vaishnav College for Women (2001 to 2005). He has been a member of the Board of studies in Psychology (1993 to 1996) and a planning committee member of the Department of Distance Education at Annamalai University (1992 to 1996). He has served on the doctoral board of the Martin Luther Christian University (2006 to 2009). The California Lutheran University invited Dr. Gautham as a visiting scholar (professor) in 2007 and 2008.[52][53][54][55]


Dr. Gautham graduated in medicine from the Madras Medical College, University of Madras in 1980. He then trained for two years in Neurology and Psychiatry at the National Institute of Mental Health & Neurosciences and completed his post-graduation in Psychiatry from the Institute of Mental Health, Chennai. He holds an MD in Psychiatry, a diploma in Psychological Medicine, and a Diploma in Child Behavior and Development and has done doctoral research.[56]

Popular media appearances[edit]

His popular appearances on a popular local-language TV channel to deliver informative tips about mental illness and mental health ran for nearly four years with more than 180 appearances.

Dr. Gautham has appeared on Indian television alongside prominent personalities. He has done live phone-in Q & A programs on local TV channels. He has featured in or written articles on mental health issues for newspapers and magazines in Tamil [57] and English including the Times Group,[58] The New Indian Express,[59] India Today [60] and The Hindu.[61][62][63][64][65][66][67][68]



  1. ^ [1] "The misery of living with pain, The Mumbai Mirror dated May 17, 2014"
  2. ^ [2] "Freaky Phobias by Maryann Thomas, The New Indian Express dated July 24, 2011"
  3. ^ [3] "Rage of the Repressed by Gayatri Jayaraman, in the India Today dated April 16, 2013"
  4. ^ Sudha Umashanker: Road to Stress, The Hindu Metro Plus Chennai, 7 Jan 2010
  5. ^ [4]"Psychosocial Response To Disaster: Knowledge and Training Resource Center on Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction Cordillera Studies Center, University of the Philippines Baguio, 2013"
  6. ^ [5] " Luke Juran: The Gendered Nature of Disasters Women Survivors in Post-Tsunami Tamil Nadu, Indian Journal of Gender Studies February 2012 vol. 19 no. 1 1-29"
  7. ^ [6] "The Hitchhikers Guide: Lay Community Counselor"
  8. ^ a b "NGO project for tsunami-hit in Cuddalore," The Hindu, 12 August 2005
  9. ^ a b ""A human touch to disaster management," The Hindu, 18 December 2005". The Hindu. India. 18 December 2005. Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  10. ^ Gauthamadas U.: Helping India’s tsunami affected population, Coping with Crisis: Federation Reference Centre for Psychosocial Support, June 2005
  11. ^ Gauthamadas, U. Social transformation of the tsunami affected fishing community: The concept and the need, Academy for Disaster Management Education Planning and Training, 2007
  12. ^ [7] Gauthamadas U., Resilience, Recovery and the Question of Community and Professional Support, Conference Report, International Conference on Re-examining Disaster, Recovery, and Reconstruction, 2008
  13. ^ Jayalakshmi D., Impact and Needs assessment of Tsunami affected coastal villages in Cuddalore district, University of Madras, 2005
  14. ^ India: ADEPT successfully exits Kashmir quake operations, Relief Web, 3 August 2006
  15. ^ "ACT Situation Report, 2005–2006". Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  16. ^ ACT Appeal South Asia – India – ASSA-51 (Revision 2): Emergency relief to quake affected: Relief Web, 24 May 2006
  17. ^ "India: Tsunami affected & surrounding areas submerged by deluge: Relief Web 29 November 2005". 29 November 2005. Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  18. ^ [8]"Disaster Mitigation & Capacity Development: Need for Specialized Preparedness [following December 26, 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunamis]"
  19. ^ "Mission 2009: Tsunami threat in the Pacific: Massachusetts Institute of Technology". Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  20. ^ "Tsunami-hit Indian fishermen respond to Kashmir quake: International Collective in Support of Fishworkers, 5 November 2005". 4 November 2005. Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  21. ^ "India: Kashmir meets Cuddalore: Relief Web, 12 April 2006". 12 April 2006. Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  22. ^ ACT Appeal South Asia – India – ASSA-51 (Revision 2): Emergency relief to quake affected, Relief Web, 24 May 2006
  23. ^ ""ACT Situation Report: South Asia Earthquake – Pakistan and India 05/06," Relief Web, 30 March 2006". 30 March 2006. Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  24. ^ "SA Quake update: Here comes the winter – a time for climbers," Explorers Web, 14 November 2005
  25. ^ [9] "Report of the International Seminar on Review of Interventions in Disasters - 3 & 4 Feb 2006"
  26. ^ "Report of the "international seminar on review of interventions in disasters," 3 & 4 February 2006". Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  27. ^ Dr. U. Gauthamadas: Reflections on need for a fresh Post-Tsunami approach to Humanitarian aid in Sri Lanka, The Humanitarian Information Center, Sri Lanka, 14 July 2005
  28. ^ Report of the Workshop on the role of Post-Disaster Sustainable community development, 27 March 2006
  29. ^ "Gauthamadas U: ''Social Transformation of the Tsunami affected community: The concept and the need''". Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  30. ^ Gauthamadas U. : Psychosocial intervention in complex disasters: Theoretical frameworks and their practical application''
  31. ^ India: Psycho-social rehabilitation puts tsunami affected back on feet, Relief Web, 17 December 2005
  32. ^ "Report on ''Asia Pacific Congress on Disaster Mitigation, Capacity Building for Effective Intervention April 1 & 2, 2005 at Hotel Savera , Chennai, India'', News from the United Evangelical Lutheran Church in India: May 19, 2005". 19 May 2005. Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  33. ^ [10] "Building Resilience: Social Capital in Post-Disaster Recovery By Daniel P. Aldrich"
  34. ^ "Report of ''Community Support Center leader training'', 10th to 15th June 2005". Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  35. ^ Harish Naraindas & Sunita Reddy: Conference Report: International Conference on Re-examining Disaster Recovery and Reconstruction: Social Perspectives on the Tsunami, 14 & 15 January 2008
  36. ^ [11] U. Gauthamadas, "A Model for Crisis Intervention in Large-Scale Disasters using Lay Community Counsellors," Disaster & Development Vol. 1, No. 2, May 2007
  37. ^ "Gauthamadas U. : ''A Model for Crisis Intervention in Large Scale Disasters using Lay Community Counsellors''" (PDF). Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  38. ^ "Psycho-social rehabilitation puts tsunami affected back on feet in India: International Collective in Support of Fishworkers, 17 December 2005". 17 December 2005. Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  39. ^ Gauthamadas U. : [12] [13], Disaster psychosocial response: Handbook for community counselor trainers, 2005
  40. ^ "Library of Congress Authority File (English)"
  41. ^ [14] "National Library of the Government of India authority file"
  42. ^ Mainstreaming Disability in Disaster Management: A Tool Kit, Government of India – Disaster Risk Management Programme
  43. ^ [15], Australian Disability and Development Consortium
  44. ^ Connemara library catalogue
  45. ^ Mission 2009: the tsunami threat in the Pacific, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  46. ^ "''Community Based Psychosocial Services in Humanitarian Assistance: A Facilitators Guide'', ACT 2005" (PDF). Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  47. ^ Open Educational Resources Initiatives, Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA), 2007
  48. ^ [16] DISASTER PSYCHOSOCIAL RESPONSE 災害の心理社会的対応 心を支える HANDBOOK FOR COMMUNITY COUNSELOR TRAINERS コミュニティ・カウンセラー・トレーナー のためのハンドブック Compiled and edited by (編纂、編集) Dr. U. Gauthamadas, MD, PhD, DPM, DCBD
  50. ^ [18] "ஏக் தொ டீன், டீன் ஏஜ் குழந்தைகளின் பெற்றோருக்கு வழிகாட்டி"
  51. ^ "Social Enterprise Track Sees New Relevance," MBA Outlook, CLU Business School, 14 April 2010[dead link]
  52. ^ Winter 2007 and Spring 2007 Visiting Scholar Courses, California Lutheran University News & Information
  53. ^ "'''''MBA Outlook Fall 2006''''': California Lutheran University" (PDF). Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  54. ^ "Randall Donohue's Website". Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  55. ^ "Dr. Gautham at California Lutheran University". Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  56. ^ "Dr. Gautham's Neuro Centre website". 18 May 2011. Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  57. ^ [19] "Articles in Tamil magazines by Dr. Gauthamadas"
  58. ^ [20] "The misery of living with pain, The Mumbai Mirror dated May 17, 2014"
  59. ^ [21] "Freaky Phobias by Maryann Thomas, The New Indian Express dated July 24, 2011"
  60. ^ [22] "Rage of the Repressed by Gayatri Jayaraman, in the India Today dated April 16, 2013"
  61. ^ Sudha Umashanker: Road to Stress, The Hindu Metro Plus Chennai, 7 Jan 2010
  62. ^ Talking about a revolution, Interview with Dr. U. Gauthamadas, Business Gyan, 2007
  63. ^ Child Burn Out and the BPO Syndrome: Summary of talk by Dr. Gauthamadas at the Public Relations Society of India, 2006
  64. ^ "Sudha Umashanker: ''The enemy within'', The Hindu Metroplus Kochi, 10 April 2008". The Hindu. India. 10 April 2008. Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  65. ^ "Sudha Umashanker: ''Swinging with the mood'', The Hindu, 21 July 2009". 21 July 2009. Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  66. ^ "Management of Schizophrenia: The Hindu,4 November 2007". The Hindu. India. 4 November 2007. Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  67. ^ [23] "Sudha Umashanker: The crucial mind-body connect, The Hindu dated September 15, 2013"
  68. ^ [24] "Sudha Umashanker: Understanding Mental Illness, The Hindu dated October 12, 2014"