Our Technical Team
Dr. Shekhar Seshadri
Dr Shekhar is a child psychiatrist with over 35 years of experience in the field of child mental health. As Professor & Head of Dept. of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, NIMHANS, his work extends beyond the clinical population to children and child care institutions/ service providers across the country as well as the South Asia region. Some of his special areas of interest in child mental health are childhood trauma, gender and sexuality issues and life skill education. Also, an artist and musician, he uses a number of creative methodologies in child mental health interventions including theatre and developmental approaches. In the belief that wider psychosocial interventions are rooted in child rights, in addition to his preventive-promotive and curative child mental health interventions, he has undertaken various legal and policy-related initiatives. He was part of national deliberations on the POCSO Act 2012 during its drafting, and more recently an active part of the debates around the December 2015 Juvenile Justice Act on children in conflict with the law. He has also engaged extensively as a member of working groups of the National commission for protection of rights of the child on issues such as substance abuse and elimination of corporal punishment in school. Finally, all his policy and practice work finds its way into training and capacity building programs for target audiences ranging from students of mental health disciplines and mental health care professional in clinical settings to child care service providers in non-clinical settings, including community health workers, teachers, government and non-government staff and counsellors and Judicial personnel. The NIMHANS Community Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service Project, was conceptualized and initiated by Dr Shekhar, as part of his vision for enabling access to mental health for the most vulnerable child populations.
Dr. Chaitra G Krishna
With the background in Ayurvedic Medicine, Chaitra worked initially in the Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK) the government school health programs. There she developed a keen interest in child mental health issues following which she joined the NIMHANS Community Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service Project. Through her work with pre-school children, she has contributed to the development of a child sexual abuse and personal safety module; based on her work in schools she is in the process of developing a counselling handbook on first level responses for common child and adolescent mental health issues. Her particular areas of interest and expertise are children in difficult circumstances, namely children in care and protection and children in conflict with the law, with whom she has done extensive amounts of individual and group level psychosocial and mental health work. Additionally, Chaitra engages in systems and advocacy work, with child care institution staff, child welfare committees and juvenile justice boards, including provision of training and capacity building programs for various cadres of child care service providers. Currently, she is pursuing her Masters degree in Public Health with a view to scaling up child mental health services and interventions at community and state level.
Dr. Rajendra K.M.
With a super-specialty degree in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and intensive experience in community psychiatry, Dr. Rajendra supports the Community Child & Adolescent Mental Health Project on numerous issues pertaining to children in difficult circumstances. His particular interest is in adolescent mental health concerns, including emotional issues and substance use. He has implemented intensive research on self-harm behaviours in adolescents, also developing an intervention manual on managing such concerns. Amongst other areas of work, he also provides specialized assistance to children in conflict with the law, including providing a mental health and child rights perspective on legal issues, such as preliminary assessments. He spear-heads the Swatantra Services at NIMHANS, where specialized assistance is offered to children referred by child welfare committees, juvenile justice boards and child care institutions.
With a background in Medical and Psychiatric Social Work and Public Health, Sheila has been working in emergency and disaster contexts, in both natural disaster and war-torn countries in Asia, Africa and the Middle-East. Her technical areas of work, over the years, include maternal & child health, nutrition and food security, water and sanitation, and child and adolescent mental and psychosocial healthcare; in these, she has been involved in program design and implementation, monitoring & evaluation, and human resource development. In recent years, she has been coordinating the NIMHANS Community Child and Adolescent Mental Health Project. Her engagement ranges from designing and initiating community child mental health interventions to policy and advocacy engagements in the implementation of of POCSO and Juvenile Justice Acts. She enjoys most, direct work with children, providing interventions on issues such as trauma, loss & grief issues, child sexual abuse, adoption, children who come into conflict with the law and a range of other emotional, behavioral and developmental problems. Her special interest has been developing tools and intervention materials for assessment and intervention with children, including life skills methodologies for therapeutic and transformation work with children. A large component of her work also involves development and implementation of training & teaching programs through the use of pedagogies of participatory and creative methodologies; she trains various cadres of child care service providers within schools, health facilities and child care institutions, as well as members of the judiciary on a range of child psychosocial care issues.
Satish, a gold medalist and art graduate has been instrumental in creating much of the art work for the Project. His passion for art and his unique skills in children’s illustrations have enabled the Project to give life to many stories and life skills activities requiring picture art. The joyousness and enthusiasm he brings to the work he seems to do round the clock, and his patient efforts to understand and develop art from a children’s perspective has been critical to the success of the material development objective of the Community Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service Project. In short, Satish is the man who brings colour, form and fun to the Project’s services and interventions!
With twenty-five years of experience in administration, in the private sector, Lata joined NIMHANS to work in the Dept. of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. Lata is not only the go-to person in the Department, but the one-stop solution to all administrative and logistical tangles! She has tirelessly supported the Community Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service Project, meticulously ensuring that all matters pertaining to record-keeping and accounts are dealt with, with quiet efficiency…and so allowing the rest of the team wishes to be oblivious of such tedious details, enabling them to keep their focus on field work!