Award-Winning Psychiatrist to Speak at Austin College

Vikram PatelAustin College will host internationally recognized psychiatrist and professor Vikram Patel on campus as the 2017 recipient of the Austin College Posey Leadership Award on Tuesday, March 28. Patel will present “People’s Health in People’s Hands,” at 11 a.m. in Wynne Chapel. The event is free and open to the public.

The College’s Posey Leadership Award recognizes Patel’s work addressing mental health problems globally, particularly as a champion of the underserved. He works to create justice for all by creating access to quality mental health care for the socially disadvantaged or those living in low-resource settings worldwide. According to the World Health Organization, one in four people will be affected by a mental health issue in a lifetime. Patel is working to provide innovative ways to extend mental health solutions and to develop and evaluate psychological treatments that can be delivered by non-specialized health workers in routine health care or educational settings. He also seeks to teach ordinary people to deliver front-line mental health care to make up for the lack of care in many situations.

Patel was born in Mumbai, India, and graduated from medical school at the University of Bombay and completed a Ph.D. in psychology at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. He describes psychiatry as a medical field with the perfect mix of society and science. Timemagazine recognized Patel on its 2015 list of 100 Most Influential People in the World. He also received the 2016 Pardes Humanitarian Prize in Mental Health and was recognized at the Asian Awards in London as 2016 Social Entrepreneur of the Year.

Patel is co-director for the Centre for Control of Chronic Conditions at the Public Health Foundation of India in New Delhi. He also co-founded Sangath, a research NGO in Goa, India, that focuses on child development, adolescent health, and mental health, He also is co-founder of the Center for Global Mental Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. His research has been supported since 1995 by the Wellcome Trust, a global charitable foundation dedicated to improving health through the support of bright minds.

An accomplished writer, Patel has written more than 250 articles that have appeared in peer-reviewed journals and is the author of several books including Where There is No Psychiatrist: A Mental Health Care Manual (2003). The manual has been translated into a dozen languages and is used by community healthcare workers worldwide.

On Wednesday, March 29, at 7:30 p.m. Patel will deliver his lecture at the Austin College Global Outreach (GO!) Forum at the Perot Museum in Dallas. Tickets to the event start at $50 and are available at

The Austin College Leadership Award was created in March 2008 through the generosity of Sally and Lee Posey, founder of Palm Harbor Homes; the Posey name was added to the award upon Lee Posey’s death in 2008. The award honors outstanding individuals who, through their work, have demonstrated the principles of servant leadership. Previous recipients include Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, founders of Half the Sky Movement and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists; Wendy Kopp, founder of Teach For America; Geoffrey Canada, president and CEO of the Harlem Children’s Zone; Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and founder of Grameen Band; Marian Wright Edelman, founder of the Children’s Defense Fund; Salman Khan, founder of Khan Academy; Dr. Nathan Wolfe, epidemiologist and author of the “The Viral Storm”; and Shigeru Ban, Pritzker Prize laureate and founder of the Voluntary Architects’ Network.

Sponsors for this year’s events include Bank of Texas and Sherman Economic Development Corporation, as well as Texas Health Resources of Fort Worth; Goldman, Sachs & Co., headquartered in Dallas; UT Southwestern/Southwestern Medical Foundation; Bank of Texas;  Dr. and Mrs. Henry Estess of Dallas; Hersh Foundation of Irving; Abigail and Todd Williams of Dallas; Stan and Judy Woodward of Dallas; John and Anne Andersen of Dallas; Children’s Health of Dallas; Brent Christopher of Dallas; Emily and David Corrigan of Dallas; Rebecca and Ron Gafford of Dallas; San Angelo physician Fazlur Rahman, M.D. and Jahanara Rahman; Ann Ross of Dallas; Sherman Economic Development Corporation; Becky and Larry Sykes of Dallas; DHD Films of Dallas; and Mental Health America (MHA) of Greater Dallas.

Austin College, a private national liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas, has earned a reputation for excellence in academic preparation, international study, pre-professional foundations, leadership development, committed faculty, and hands-on, adventurous learning opportunities. One of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope’s influential book Colleges That Change LivesAustin College boasts a welcoming community that embraces diversity and individuality, with more than 40 percent of students representing ethnic minorities. A residential student body of approximately 1,275 students and a faculty of more than 100 allow a 13:1 student-faculty ratio and personalized attention. The College is related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA) and cultivates an inclusive atmosphere that supports students’ faith journeys regardless of religious tradition. Founded in 1849, the College is the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original name and charter.