Gauthamadas Udipi

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Gauthamadas Udipi

Gauthamadas Udipi is a professor and renowned [1][2][3][4] psychiatrist in Chennai, India who has been conferred the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Indian Medical Association, the largest single body of doctors in the world, for his contribution to psychosocial interventions in disasters, public awareness on mental health, medical education, and service to the community.[5] Doc Gautham's Neuro Center, the neurobehavioural medicine clinic, founded and run by him, was ranked 15th among Neuroscience Centers in South India, and 7th in Chennai, by the Times of India National Hospital Survey 2017.

Contribution to psychosocial interventions in disasters[edit]

Dr. Gautham has been acclaimed as an expert in disaster psychosocial response.[6] His work has left a mark on the psychosocial intervention in disasters and especially in involvement of women survivors in disaster mitigation.[7] He is credited with using the term Community Counselor to refer to survivors from disaster affected communities who are utilized to provide counseling to traumatized fellow survivors [8] and creating an army of Community Counselors to assuage the sufferings of 100,000 survivors of the super tsunami of 2004. In the aftermath of the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami Dr. Gautham decided to lend his expertise to alleviating trauma of the disaster stricken.[9][10][11] Taking charge as director of the disaster management psycho-social intervention program of the National Lutheran Health and Medical Board, he propounded a Comprehensive Framework for Psychosocial Intervention in disasters.[12] Using this framework ADEPT brought about "Social Transformation" in the tsunami affected community.[13][14] This model was successfully implemented [9] in 51 tsunami-affected villages in the Cuddalore District of Tamil Nadu,[15] 156 quake affected villages in Kashmir,[16][17][18] and flood affected villages in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.[19] 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.[10][20] His views on designing the health care disaster relief team feature in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Mission 2009 document.[21]

One of his unique programs was to link communities affected by disasters so that disaster relief and preparedness knowledge may be shared.[22][23]

His team has the distinction of being the only group offering medical relief to quake survivors during the deep winter in Indian Kashmir.[24][25][26]

Dr. Gautham organised five international workshops, the reports of which have been widely circulated[27] and are said to have been instrumental in shaping the Sri Lanka government's[27] Disaster Management Road Map.[28][29] 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.[30][31][32][33][34] 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.[35][36]

His model for crisis intervention in large-scale disasters using "lay community counsellors"[37] 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.[38][39]

Dr. Gautham's Handbook for Community Counselor Trainers[40] is cataloged by the Library of Congress,[41] National Library of the Government of India [42] 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."[43] It is recommended by the Australian Disability and Development consortium [44] and was cataloged by UNHCR's Humanitarian Library and the Tamil Nadu Government Library.[45] It has been quoted in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Mission 2009 document on the "Tsunami threat in the Pacific,"[46] and the internationally acclaimed Community Based Psychosocial Services in Humanitarian Assistance Facilitators Guide.[47] The handbook is one of the recommended material by the Association for Development of Education in Africa.[48] The book has been translated into Japanese[49] 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.[50]

Contribution to public awareness on mental health[edit]

Dr. Gautham is sought by the media for his crisp, clear, and easily understandable talks and articles on various aspects of mental health.

On 6 Dec 2015 he addressed the populace of the city of Chennai that was devastated on 2 and 3 Dec 2015 by the worst floods of the century. His hour long telecast dealt with how to handle the grief of the loss and build confidence.[51]

In 2015 and 2016 he has featured regularly on live, hour long, phone in TV talk shows in Tamil on various mental health issues, including Depression, Anxiety, stress, Learning Disorders, Autism, ADHD, Coping with disasters in life, Dealing with grief, and Confidence building etc., reaching out to the Tamil diaspora worldwide.

His articles have appeared in various Tamil [52] and English newspapers including the Times Group,[1] The New Indian Express,[2] India Today [3] and The Hindu.[4][53][54][55][56][57][58][59] He featured in 24 articles by Suzy Fontes and Adarsh Madhavan between 2000 and 2004 in the weekly Thursday Magazine published by the Times of Oman. His popular Q & A column appeared in the weekly supplement the popular Tamil daily தினகரன் (Dhinakaran)வசந்தம் (Vasantham) between 2010 and 2013. His most informative column on parenting and handling teens," ஏக் தோ டீன் (Ek Tho Teen)" appeared in the bi-monthly magazine தோழி (Thozhi) published by the popular Tamil daily தினகரன் (Dinakaran) in 24 consecutive publications. It was so popular that it was compiled into a Teenage Parenting Handbook ஏக் தொ டீன், டீன் ஏஜ் குழந்தைகளின் பெற்றோருக்கு வழிகாட்டி by சூரியன் பதிப்பகம். His articles have also appeared regularly in விகடன் (Vikatan).

Dr. Gautham has trained officers in the Tamil Nadu Police Service on mental health issues and also written a book on Applied Psychology for Police Officers, published by Tamil Nadu Police Training Academy.

He has trained teachers on child behaviour and development and written a book Applied Child Development for Pre Primary Teachers published by Annamalai University.

He has educated the public on Disaster Mental Health and written a book Disaster Management published by the Christian Institute of Management.

Popular media appearances:

His popular appearances on the large reach Tamil language Jaya TV channel, to deliver informative tips about mental illness and mental health ran for nearly four years (2008 to 2012) with more than 180 appearances covering all aspects of mental health and disorders. His live, hour long, phone in TV talk shows in Tamil on various mental health issues (Depression, Anxiety, stress, Learning Disorders, Autism, ADHD, Coping with disasters in life, Dealing with grief, and Confidence building etc.,) have been appreciated by the Tamil diaspora worldwide.

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 [52] and English including the Times Group,[1] The New Indian Express,[2] India Today [3] and The Hindu.[4][53][54][55][56][57][58][59]

Contributions to Education[edit]

Dr. Gautham has started, developed, and established Departments of Mental Health in 3 medical colleges. He set up 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 authored the chapter on Behavioural Medicine in the Apollo Hospital Textbook of Medicine[60]

Accredited as an associate faculty by the Open University Business School, UK, he taught People Management and Creative Management 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 (2000 to 2004). He also served on its course material team between 2000 and 2004.

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, (which advocates for children’s active participation that links learning with living, and recognises children’s capacities as change agents) 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 courses designed and taught by him at Uppsala University and California Lutheran University were trendsetters.[61][62]

He has taught Psychology for Police Officers at the Police Training Academy, Chennai between 1997 and 2001.

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 received appreciation by the Education Department of the government of Tamil Nadu.

Contributions to Community Service[edit]

Dr. Gautham has been contributing extensively to community well being since 1979 when, as a medical student, he became involved in the German Measles immunization drive in Chennai. From then he was involved in Rotary International's Polio Plus immunization drive till 1995, and has probably, single handedly immunized the most number of children during the drive.

He has also actively provided pro-Bono service to free medical camps in various under privileged communities and villages since 1988 through the Adiparasakthi Cultural, Medical and Educational Trust, almost on a weekly basis. He has conducted numerous health camps for the rural underprivileged since 1990 in collaboration with Rotary Clubs. His community service has benefited tens of thousands of needy people.

Dr. Gautham has been campaigning for awareness on Learning Disorders, and was instrumental in introducing concessions for students with Learning Disability at Madras University in 2004, a provision that has benefited thousands of students.

He is passionate about Education of the Girl Child and has been facilitated sponsorship of education of more than 100 girls from disadvantaged backgrounds every year since 2004 in collaboration with various organizations.

An avid environmentalist he spearheaded the Environment Protection Project of Rotary clubs in Dist 323 between 1991 and 1994 for which he was awarded the International Toothed Wheel prize by Rotary Club of Salzberg for the best environment protection project in the world minus the Americas.

Academic achievements[edit]

Dr. Gautham is a Professor and has served as Head of Department of Psychiatry / Mental Health since 2004. A Chennai-based psychiatrist, he has served on the academic councils of several universities and educational institutions [63] in India. He has served as Visiting professor to Universities in Sweden and USA.[64][65][66] He has presented papers at several conferences, and conducted several National and International conferences, workshops and CME programs.


  1. ^ a b c [1] "The misery of living with pain, The Mumbai Mirror dated May 17, 2014"
  2. ^ a b c [2] "Freaky Phobias by Maryann Thomas, The New Indian Express dated July 24, 2011"
  3. ^ a b c [3] "Rage of the Repressed by Gayatri Jayaraman, in the India Today dated April 16, 2013"
  4. ^ a b c Sudha Umashanker: Road to Stress, The Hindu Metro Plus Chennai, 7 Jan 2010
  5. ^ Staff Reporter. "IMA honour for city doctor". The Hindu. 
  6. ^ "Psychosocial response to disaster" (pdf). Baguio: Knowledge and Training Resource Center on Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction Cordillera Studies Center, University of the Philippines. 2013. 
  7. ^ Juran, Luke (February 2012). "The gendered nature of disasters: women survivors in post-tsunami Tamil Nadu". Indian Journal of Gender Studies. Sage. 19 (1): 1–29. doi:10.1177/097152151101900101. 
  8. ^ Excerpt from the book - Foundations for Mental Health and Community Counseling , An Introduction to the Profession
  9. ^ a b "NGO project for tsunami-hit in Cuddalore," The Hindu, 12 August 2005
  10. ^ a b ""A human touch to disaster management," The Hindu, 18 December 2005". The Hindu. India. 18 December 2005. Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  11. ^ Gauthamadas U.: Helping India’s tsunami affected population, Coping with Crisis: Federation Reference Centre for Psychosocial Support, June 2005
  12. ^ Gauthamadas, U. Comprehensive Framework for Psychosocial Intervention in Complex Disasters
  13. ^ Gauthamadas, U. Social transformation of the tsunami affected fishing community: The concept and the need, Academy for Disaster Management Education Planning and Training, 2007
  14. ^ Udipi, Gauthamadas (2008). Resilience, Recovery and the Question of Community and Professional Support: International Conference on Re-examining Disaster, Recovery, and Reconstruction (PDF) (Report). United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction. 
  15. ^ Jayalakshmi D., Impact and Needs assessment of Tsunami affected coastal villages in Cuddalore district, University of Madras, 2005
  16. ^ "India: ADEPT successfully exits Kashmir quake operations". ReliefWeb. 
  17. ^ Folkekirkens Nødhjælp. "ACT situation report - February 2006". Folkekirkens Nødhjælp. 
  18. ^ "ACT Situation Report: South Asia Earthquake - Pakistan and India 05/06". ReliefWeb. 
  19. ^ "India: Tsunami affected & surrounding areas submerged by deluge: Relief Web 29 November 2005". 29 November 2005. Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  20. ^ Prakash, J. S.; Deolalikar, S.; Prakash, J.; Thomas, M.; Singh, D.; Choudhary, K. (July 2013). "Disaster mitigation & capacity development: need for specialized preparedness [following December 26, 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunamis] (WMC004336)". WebmedCentral. DISASTER MEDICINE. 4 (7). doi:10.9754/journal.wmc.2013.004336. 
  21. ^ "Mission 2009: Tsunami threat in the Pacific: Massachusetts Institute of Technology". Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  22. ^ "India: Tsnami affected fishermen respond to Kashmir quake". ReliefWeb. 
  23. ^ "India: Kashmir meets Cuddalore: Relief Web, 12 April 2006". 12 April 2006. Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  24. ^ ACT Appeal South Asia – India – ASSA-51 (Revision 2): Emergency relief to quake affected, Relief Web, 24 May 2006
  25. ^ ""ACT Situation Report: South Asia Earthquake – Pakistan and India 05/06," Relief Web, 30 March 2006". 30 March 2006. Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  26. ^ "Oceans News ExplorersWeb - SA Quake update: Here comes the winter - a time for climbers". 
  27. ^ a b International Seminar, Review of Interventions in Disasters 2005, Feb 3 & 4 2006, Report of Proceedings (Report). Academy for Disaster Management Education, Planning and Training (ADEPT), National Lutheran Health & Medical Board. Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  28. ^ 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
  29. ^ Report of the Workshop on the role of Post-Disaster Sustainable community development, 27 March 2006
  30. ^ "Gauthamadas U: ''Social Transformation of the Tsunami affected community: The concept and the need''". Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  31. ^ Gauthamadas U. : Psychosocial intervention in complex disasters: Theoretical frameworks and their practical application''
  32. ^ India: Psycho-social rehabilitation puts tsunami affected back on feet, Relief Web, 17 December 2005
  33. ^ "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. 
  34. ^ Aldrich, Daniel P. (2012). Building Resilience: Social Capital in Post-Disaster Recovery. University of Chicago Press. p. 201. ISBN 978-0-226-01289-6. 
  35. ^ "Report of ''Community Support Center leader training'', 10th to 15th June 2005". Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  36. ^ Harish Naraindas & Sunita Reddy: Conference Report: International Conference on Re-examining Disaster Recovery and Reconstruction: Social Perspectives on the Tsunami, 14 & 15 January 2008
  37. ^ Udipi, Gauthamadas (May 2007). "A model for crisis intervention in large-scale disasters using lay community counsellors". Disaster & Development. National Institute of Disaster Management. 1 (2). 
  38. ^ "Gauthamadas U. : ''A Model for Crisis Intervention in Large Scale Disasters using Lay Community Counsellors''" (PDF). Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  39. ^ "India: Psycho-social rehabilitation puts tsunami affected back on feet: Relief Web". 
  40. ^ Gauthamadas U. : [4] [5], Disaster psychosocial response: Handbook for community counselor trainers, 2005
  41. ^ "14210472". 
  42. ^ [6] "National Library of the Government of India authority file"
  43. ^ Mainstreaming Disability in Disaster Management: A Tool Kit, Government of India – Disaster Risk Management Programme
  44. ^ ["Handbook for Community Counsellor Trainers: Australian Disability and Development Consortium" (PDF). ], Australian Disability and Development Consortium
  45. ^ "Demo - Connemara Public Library Catalog › Details for: Disaster Psychosocial Response". 
  46. ^ Mission 2009: the tsunami threat in the Pacific, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  47. ^ "''Community Based Psychosocial Services in Humanitarian Assistance: A Facilitators Guide'', ACT 2005" (PDF). Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  48. ^ Open Educational Resources Initiatives, Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA), 2007
  49. ^ [7] 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
  51. ^ "Dr. Gautham's address in Tamil to residents of the state (province) of Tamilnadu on the occasion of the devastating flood of 2015". 
  52. ^ a b [9] "Articles in Tamil magazines by Dr. Gauthamadas"
  53. ^ a b Talking about a revolution, Interview with Dr. U. Gauthamadas, Business Gyan, 2007
  54. ^ a b Child Burn Out and the BPO Syndrome: Summary of talk by Dr. Gauthamadas at the Public Relations Society of India, 2006
  55. ^ a b "Sudha Umashanker: ''The enemy within'', The Hindu Metroplus Kochi, 10 April 2008". The Hindu. India. 10 April 2008. Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  56. ^ a b "Sudha Umashanker: ''Swinging with the mood'', The Hindu, 21 July 2009". 21 July 2009. Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  57. ^ a b "Management of Schizophrenia: The Hindu,4 November 2007". The Hindu. India. 4 November 2007. Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  58. ^ a b [10] "Sudha Umashanker: The crucial mind-body connect, The Hindu dated September 15, 2013"
  59. ^ a b [11] "Sudha Umashanker: Understanding Mental Illness, The Hindu dated October 12, 2014"
  60. ^ ""Apollo hospitals releases textbook on medicine" - in The Hindu dated 23 July 2015". 
  61. ^ "Social Enterprise Track Sees New Relevance," MBA Outlook, CLU Business School, 14 April 2010 Archived 23 November 2015 at the Wayback Machine.
  62. ^ California Lutheran University. "Visiting Scholars Program Grows in Popularity". 
  63. ^ "Short CV of Dr. Gauthamadas". 
  64. ^ Winter 2007 and Spring 2007 Visiting Scholar Courses, California Lutheran University News & Information
  65. ^ "Teaching and Mentoring:Randall Donohue's Website". Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  66. ^ "Dr. Gautham at California Lutheran University". Retrieved 17 January 2012. 

External links[edit]