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SAMHI ~ Sexuality and Mental Health Institute

The Sexuality and Mental Health Institute (SAMHI) is a center for learning that aims to reach out to students, young mental health professionals and people working with NGOs, CBOs, donor agencies to learn about issues of sexuality and mental health so that program design and methods of intervention can be more holistic.

The Institute aims to

  • Facilitate the understanding of the nuances of psychosocial disability and sexuality
  • Create linkages with global work and programs that impact mental health
  • Examine existing laws – both national and international – that impact the work on mental health and sexuality
  • Discuss work that is already existing in the field and enable participants to connect their work with issues of mental health and sexuality
  • Create a dynamic point of enquiry, study and action on mental health and sexuality
  • Generate new ideas and public debates on mental health and sexuality

The Institute will use a mixture of lecture, discussion, group work, films, readings and case studies.

Proposed Faculty

  • 1. Alok Sarinis a psychiatrist and mental health activist based in New Delhi, India. He is a consultant psychiatrist at SitaramBharatia Institute of Science and Research, New Delhi. He has been a Senior Fellow at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, Teen Murti House, New Delhi, and was a member of the Task Force (GoI), to write a mental health policy for India.
  • 2. Chayanika Shah is an independent researcher, scholar and activist from Mumbai. She is a member of Bombay based, LABIA - A Queer Feminist LBT Collective.
  • 3. Ketki Ranade is faculty at the Center for Health and Mental Health, TISS, Mumbai. Ketki has written on mental health concerns of persons with non-normative sexualities. Ketki has been member of the Expert Committee on Transgender Issues formed by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
  • 4. Paromita Chakravarti is a Professor of English at Jadavpur University. She teaches Renaissance drama, women’s writing and sexuality and film studies. She has also been both Joint Director and Director of the School of Women’s Studies, Jadavpur University where the focus had been on education and sexuality.
  • 5. Pramada Menon is a queer feminist who works on issues of gender, sexuality, human rights and organisational management. She is the co-founder of CREA, a feminist human rights organisation based in Delhi. Pramada is also well known as a performance artist for her show Fat, Feminist and Free.
  • 6. Ratnaboli Ray is a trained psychologist, an Ashoka fellow and an activist. She is a Member of Task Force on Standard Treatment Guideline (GoI) and the Founder, Director of Anjali. Ratnaboli Ray was awarded the Alison Des Forges Human Rights Defender Award, from The Human Rights Watch.
  • 7. Soumitra Pathare is currently a Consultant Psychiatrist at Ruby Hall Clinic, Pune, and Coordinator, Center for Mental Health Law and Policy at the Indian Law Society. As lead author, he assisted GOI to frame the Mental Health Care Bill, 2013.

We would encourage students and enthusiasts from all backgrounds to be a part of the institute.

  • Students interested and committed on working with issues of mental health, rights and sexuality
  • Any person working in the social sector on gender issues/ women’s rights/disability/sexuality/mental health/ development and/or youth activism
  • Able to demonstrate how you will use what you learn at the Institute in your work and how you will continue to participate in follow-up activities
  • Proficient in English language, as the Institute is conducted in English and all the training and reference materials used will be in English

Venue and Dates

The Sexuality and Mental Health Institute will be held in Kolkata, India.
Dates: November 12 – 17, 2018.

Participants are expected to arrive by 11 November 2018 and stay for the entire duration of the course. The Venue is disability friendly and fully accessible.


Accommodation will be on a twin sharing basis.