Jayasree Kalathil, PhD
Jayasree has encountered mental health services in India and in the UK. Most of her adult life was spent negotiating six different psychiatric diagnoses, western medicine, faith and religious healing. The net result of this was that she developed a political identity as a survivor, with strong views on healing and recovery, and what it means to remain well.
Before moving to England, Jayasree worked with Anveshi Research Centre for Women’s Studies, Hyderabad, and Bapu Trust, Pune, where she was the founding editor of aaina, India’s first and only mental health advocacy newsletter. In London, she has worked with Mental Health Media on the anti-discrimination project, Open Up. Later, she worked with the Breaking the Circles of Fear team on the Race Equality Education and Training project with the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health. She has served as the interim project manager of Catch-a-Fiya, a network for service users and survivors from BME communities, and of the National BME Mental Health Advocacy Project, both hosted by the Afiya Trust. She continues to work closely with the National Survivor User Network, the Afiya Trust and the Mental Health Foundation.
Jayasree was the editor of Open Mind, the mental health magazine published by Mind from 2010-2012 and Co-Chair of the Social Perspectives Network from 2009-2012. She is currently a member of the Expert Reference Group set up by the Joint Commissioning Panel for Mental Health to produce commissioning guidance for BME services.
Jayasree received the Janice Sinson Research Prize from the Mental Health Foundation in 2011 for her work on the Recovery and Resilience project.
She has published several articles, reports and book chapters, both in India and in the UK (see the publications section for some of her work). She is the author of a children's book, The Sack-cloth Man, published by DC Books in 2009. She is a published poet and also enjoys translating literary works from Malayalam, her mother tongue, to English.