Towards modern standards of care in psychiatry

11th International Conference of the SAARC Psychiatric Federation 16th Academic Sessions of the Sri Lanka College of Psychiatrists Colombo - Sri Lanka

Welcome to 11th Conference of the SAARC Psychiatric Federation and 16th Annual Academic Sessions of Sri Lanka College of Psychiatrists

Message from President, SAARC Psychiatric Federation

The SAARC countries are a group of eight countries which share the filial bonds of shared history and heritage and form nearly a quarter of the population of the world. The SAARC Psychiatric Federation was formed out of the need for a common platform to give voice to the mental health needs of the people and to explore ways and means for their full realisation.

I am extremely happy to note that the 11th SAARC Psychiatric Conference is being held at the historic city of Colombo the capital city of the famed island of gems – Sri Lanka. I congratulate the president and all the members of the Sri Lanka College of Psychiatrists for coming forward to take the huge responsibility of organising the conference from 13 to 15 October 2019.

It gives me great pleasure to welcome all members of the countries of the region and others across the world to attend the conference in large numbers to share their experience and expertise and make the conference a grand success.

Dr. (Brig) M S V K Raju  MD, FIPS, FIIOPM, DFAPA                  


Message from President, Sri Lanka College of Psychiatrists Prof. Shehan Williams

Dear SAARC and International colleagues and friends,

Greetings from Sri Lanka!

We take great pleasure in hosting the 11th International Conference of the SAARC Psychiatric Federation (SPF) in Colombo, Sri Lanka from 13 – 15 October 2019. We wish to extend our warmest invitation to all our colleagues globally to participate and enrich this great event

As always, we look forward to a rich exchange of knowledge and ideas in this international conference. The scientific committee has brought together a glittering array of renowned speakers who will speak on cutting edge psychiatry relevant to the SAARC region and the world in keeping with the theme of the conference: ‘Towards modern standards of care in Psychiatry’.

Sri Lanka has taken the number one position as one of the must visit destinations in the world for 2019 in terms of international travel experts, magazines and blogs.  Hence, it is an extraordinary opportunity to enjoy the wonders of Sri Lanka at least briefly, while savouring the academic delights the conference will be offering.

So, don’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity!

Looking forward to welcoming you.


Prof. Shehan Williams  ( MBBS, MPhil, MD, FSLCPsych, FRCPsych)


Message from General Secretary, SAARC Psychiatric Federation

It is indeed a matter of pride that the city of Colombo is going to host the 11thSAARC Psychiatric Federation International Conference (SPFCON) with the theme: “Towards Modern Standards of Care in Psychiatry” in October 2019.

Sri Lanka College of Psychiatrists, Colombo has already organized successfully the 3rd and 6th SPFCON in 2007 and 2012 respectively. We are sure and confident this event will set a milestone in the history of SPF.

We all are abreast to the fact that psychiatry has been developing exponentially in research and management. So the theme is apt to the recent progress in mental health.

On behalf of SAARC Psychiatry Federation (SPF) I would wish this conference to be a grand success. Let’s all come together to make this an event that will echo in our memories for the years to come.

Wishing success to 11th SPFCON and the brilliance it shall achieve.

Prof Nirmal Lamichhane


Message from the Congress Chair

We, members of SAARC Psychiatric federation live in the same geographical region, sharing many similarities. We share a similar cultural, social and political value system, while facing problems due to poor economic statuses with one fifth of world population living in our region.  Though we have inherited a long rich culture, we also have accumulated many myths over the centuries including those related to causation and remedies of mental illnesses.

We have a poorly developed mental health service in our region especially in rural areas.  Our mental health services are not only underdeveloped the quality of care is also not optimal. While taking measures to develop services where there are no services accessible to the public, it is also essential to improve the quality of available care.

I am proud to state that I have been involved in many of these activities over the years from its inception in Lahore in 2004. “Towards Modern Psychiatric Care” has been selected as the theme of the event, because the main task ahead of us, especially in Sri Lanka is Improving the quality of care in Mental Health.  With a rich academic programme, resourced with eminent psychiatrists from around the world, I am confident that this conference would be a successful event. There are many developments as well as a few setbacks in the history of SAARC Psychiatric federation. However, with the leadership of the young and able Prof. Shehan Williams, I believe it will certainly have a good future ahead.

Prof Harischandra Gambheera MBBS, MD (Psych)