Autism Speaks congratulates psychiatrist and mental-health champion Vikram Patel on being named to TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People for 2015. Dr. Patel was singled out for a career spent championing the mental health needs of those in resource-poor countries. This work has included pioneering research, funded by Autism Speaks, to develop training programs that empower parents and community workers to deliver effective autism therapies in communities without access to autism specialists. Dr. Patel co-directs the Centre for Global Mental Health, at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.
“Dr. Patel has been with us every step of the way as we’ve worked with the World Health Organization to develop evidence-based interventions that work in the world’s most resource-poor regions,” says Andy Shih, Autism Speaks senior vice president for scientific affairs. “It all started with our grant to Dr. Patel’s team for research that showed nonprofessionals can deliver effective interventions and improve outcomes for children and their families.”
Just last week, Dr. Patel’s team was part of a “Master Trainer” workshop on developing parent skills, which Autism Speaks co-sponsored with the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva. The workshop prepared more than 30 Master Trainers to return to their countries to set up their own parent skills training programs. (To learn more, see “Autism Speaks and WHO Train 'Master Trainers' from 18 Countries.”)
“We look forward to continuing our work with Dr. Patel to deliver answers to even the lowest resourced communities around the world,” Dr. Shih says.
Learn more about the Autism Speaks Global Autism Public Health Initiative here.
Read Dr. Patel’s “TIME 100” biography here.
Co-Founders of Autism Speaks Bob and Suzanne Wright were also selected for the Time 100 List in 2008! You can read more about their honor here.