Dept. of Psychiatry, Voluntary Health Services
Dr Lakshmi Vijayakumar founded Sneha in 1986 and currently Sneha is considered the premier suicide prevention centre in India. She has helped start befriending centres in other cities of India. She was instrumental in the inclusion of suicide prevention in the National Mental Health Policy of India and is currently working towards decriminalization of attempted suicide. She was the Vice President of the International Association for Suicide Prevention for four years and is currently the national representative for India.
Dr Vijayakumar is Head, Department of Psychiatry, Voluntary Heath Services, Chennai. She is a member of the WHO’s Network on suicide research and prevention and a member of the International Academy of Suicide Research. She was an executive member of the Befrienders International for six years. She has conducted training workshops and lectured for volunteers and professionals. She has also published papers, authored chapters and edited a book on suicide and its prevention.
Dr Vijayakumar has been conferred with “Bharathi”, "Gnananda”, “Woman of the year” and “For the sake honour” awards in India. She has recently been conferred “Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (FRCPsych) the highest award given by the college for her work in suicide prevention locally, nationally and internationally.
The vision Dr Vijayakumar has for IASP is to increase the presence and importance of IASP in developing countries, to promote collaboration (among professionals, volunteers, survivors, societies, NGOs and International organizations) in suicide research and prevention, to enlarge World Suicide Prevention Day into a Global movement, to improve the human and economic resources of IASP, and to facilitate and enthuse young suicidologists by collaboration, cooperation and commitment.