Chesmal Siriwardhana Memorial Lecture

10 Oct 2019, 17:30 to 18:30
John Snow (B), Keppel St, LSHTM

Mental Health in post-conflict and post-natural disaster populations

This year’s memorial lecture will focus on the mental health of post-humanitarian crisis migrants forced into displacement, in alignment with Dr Siriwardhana’s expertise in armed conflict, migration and mental health. 

The world is facing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis in which one in 70 people worldwide is caught up in a crisis that requires urgent humanitarian assistance. Political upheaval, famine and natural disasters have resulted in the largest movement of displaced individuals in history, and with it, some of the most significant public health challenges of our time.

Speakers include Professor Bayard Roberts, Dr Elaine Flores and Dr Shannon Doherty who will address trans-diagnostic mental health services in conflict-affected populations, he psychosocial effects of El Niño in the northern coast of Peru and the mental health prevalence and treatment pathways for primary care attendees in post- conflict Northern Sri Lanka.

About the memorial lecture

The Centre for Global Mental Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) at King’s College London host an annual lecture to commemorate Dr Chesmal Siriwardhana who was an Associate Professor at LSHTM. He died in an accident in 2017.

The annual lectures are broadly themed around humanitarian crisis and mental health, in alignment with Dr Siriwardhana’s expertise in armed conflict, migration and mental health. To find out more about Dr Siriwardhana, please click here.

DATE: Thursday 10 October 2019
TIME: 17.30-18.30
VENUE: John Snow Lecture Theatre B, Keppel Street, LSHTM

Watch the Memorial Lecture recording here:

About the speakers

Dr Shannon Doherty (keynote speaker)

Shannon is a Senior Lecturer in Public Health at Anglia Ruskin University, leading modules in Health Communication, Projects to Enhance Health, and Addictions and Communicable Disease Management. She is also the Principal Investigator for COMGAP-S, a project which seeks to integrate mental health services into primary care for conflict-affected populations in Northern Province, Sri Lanka. Dr Doherty is a public mental health specialist, with research interests in migration and health, behaviour change, and research ethics.

Professor Bayard Roberts

Bayard is the Director of the Centre for Global Chronic Conditions at LSHTM, and Editor-in-Chief of the BMC journal Conflict and Health. His research addresses the health determinants, policies and systems of countries experiencing major social change such as those affected by armed conflict and forced migration. His research has focused particularly on chronic conditions of mental health and non-communicable diseases, and harmful health behaviours such as tobacco and harmful alcohol use.

Dr Elaine C. Flores

Elaine is a Peruvian physician, epidemiologist, and PhD candidate at the Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). She is a member of the Centre for Global Mental Health at LSHTM and the Research Unit for emerging diseases and Climate Change at Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, in Peru. Elaine’s doctoral thesis investigates the effects related to the phenomenon of "El Niño", on mental health in Tumbes, Peru and its association with social capital as a resilience tool. Elaine is especially interested in mental health in vulnerable populations, social inequalities, crises and disasters and health problems related to the environment and climate change.


  • 17:30: Introduction & Welcome                     

Speed talks

  • 17:35: Scaling-up low-intensity trans-diagnostic mental health services among conflict-affected populations in LMIC, including Syrian refugees (Professor Bayard Roberts)
  • 17:55: "You cannot build a gigantic umbrella over us, when El Niño comes". A mixed methods approach to explore the psychosocial effects of El Niño event in the northern coast of Peru (Ms Elaine Flores)


  • 18:05: Mental health prevalence and treatment pathways for post-conflict, primary care attendees in Northern Sri Lanka: the COMGAP-S project (Dr Shannon Doherty)
  • 18:15: Q&A

Followed by a drinks reception in the South Courtyard

Memorial Lecture Recording