The second memorial lecture in memory of Dr Chesmal Siriwardhana, organised by the Centre for Global Mental Health was held on the 21st June 2018 at the Institute of Psychiatry in London. Mr Leslie Dep, immediate past president of the association represented APSL at the event.
Prof. Bayard Roberts from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine gave the keynote address on “Research on mental health and psychosocial support in humanitarian settings – progress, gaps and opportunities”. Dr Roberts has visited Sri Lanka with Dr Chesmal and mentioned the work he carried out globally with Dr Chesmal.
Dr Melanie Abbas gave a glowing tribute and a reflection of the work of Dr Chesmal Siriwardhana by remembering his time in IoPPN. There was a Q&A session chaired by Prof Ricardo Araya towards the end.
Dr Chesmal was one of the vice presidents of the APSL and was serving as an Associate Professor at London school of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine at the time of his untimely demise. Dr Chesmal was a mental health expert who focused on migrants and people in armed conflict zones. He received his PhD in Psychiatric Epidemiology and his MSc from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London. Dr Chesmal has completed his degree of Medicine (MD) from the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia and Vitebski Dzjaržauny Medycynski Universitet. He was a very popular lecturer and inspired many students both in Sri Lanka and in United Kingdom with his work on global mental health. He was born on 6 June 1978 in Kurunegala District, Sri Lanka and suddenly passed away due to a traffic incident in London on 9 April 2017, aged 38 years.