Practo launches mental health webinar series for LGBT+

Part of Practo’s doctors-led educational webinar series, Practo Connect

So far, four webinars have been organized as part of Practo Connect, with more than 3000 doctors directly benefiting from it

In an effort to sensitize healthcare professionals to the mental health needs of the LGBT+ community amid the Covid-19 pandemic, India’s leading digital healthcare company, Practo is organizing a two-part webinar series led by mental health experts on LGBT+ from the Indian Psychiatry Society (IPS). Part of Practo’s doctors-led pandemic-focused educational webinar series Practo Connect, the webinar will take place on 16th August from 4pm – 5pm. The webinar is open for all doctors and healthcare professionals. To join these webinar sessions, please register here: Link or one can watch it directly on Practo YouTube channel.

In what has come to be a highly anticipated series offered by the company, the latest webinar will focus on sensitizing caregivers on the steps to be taken to provide the LGBT+ community with greater access to quality therapy and healthcare. Furthermore, it will also see an esteemed panel among the speaker list, including Dr. Dinesh Bhugra, Hon. Consultant Psychiatrist at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, Dr. Amrit Pattjoshi, Professor at HiTech medical college and Hospital Direct Council Member of IPS, Dr. Avinash De Souza, Consultant Psychiatrist in Mumbai Convener and Ex Co-Chair of the LGBT+ task force of IPS, and Dr. Prasad Raj Dandekar, HOD, Radiation Oncology, HN Hospital and Founder of HPQI India (Healthcare Professional of Queer India) will be part of the esteemed panel for this webinar. 

“The landmark Section 377 judgment may have heralded a new dawn for the LGBT+ community in India, but many are still known to face intense prejudice and social stigmas. While the negative impact of this on their mental well-being is undeniable, social distancing mandated by a worldwide pandemic has made it even more challenging for them to seek help. The webinar, curated with the leading minds in the industry, has been developed to understand and learn if we as doctors can do anything more to alleviate some of their mental health challenges during this time.” said Dr. Alexander Kuruvilla, Chief Health Strategy Officer, Practo.

Even as extended lockdown measures are lifted, stringent social distancing protocols and curbs on public transport indicate that affected people may remain isolated from their communities. Without strong support structures in place, anxiety and depression have become prevalent among members of the LGBT+ community. Coupled with the added stress of remaining healthy and the challenge of breaking barriers to seek quality healthcare, the LGBT+ community would benefit greatly with targeted intervention. With that in mind, Practo’s latest webinar will help the medical community understand the mental health needs of the LBGT+ community better, and work together on how this can be improved.

“The current pandemic has illuminated challenges and health disparities faced by minority communities in our country. Together with Practo, our efforts are aimed at developing an effective, equitable, and sustainable environment for all people, their well-being being the focus. We believe this initiative will highlight the importance of professional support and critical care required by different community members, especially the LGBT+, without any discrimination,” said Dr. Amrit Pattojoshi, Professor Hi-Tech Medical College and Hospital, Direct Council Member IPS

Practo Connect continues to successfully capture some of the most pressing concerns, informative insights, and practical guidance on the clinical side for the medical fraternity as they navigate these uncertain times. So far, four webinars have been organized as part of Practo Connect, with more than 3000 doctors directly benefiting from it. Some of the senior-most doctors from countries including India, USA, and New Zealand have shared their experiences and knowledge on topics like response and treatment for Covid-19 patients, Telemedicine practices in India, COVID-19 preparedness in hospitals, and more. 

Speaker Profiles:

Dr. Dinesh Bhugra

Dr. Dinesh Bhugra is an Honorary Consultant in the Psychosexual and Relationship Service, and a Professor of Mental Health and Cultural Diversity at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London. Professor Bhugra also functions as the editor of the International Journal of Social Psychiatry, International Review of Psychiatry and the International Journal of Culture and Mental Health. He has been instrumental in developing training packages for health service professionals and strategies for psychiatric education. Professor Bhugra has authored or co-authored over 300 scientific papers, 20 books and a number of book chapters. 

Dr. Amrit Pattojoshi

Dr. Amrit Pattojoshi is a leading Psychiatrist from Bhubaneswar rendering professional help in overall mental health with key skill areas in Mood Disorder, Anxiety Substance, Child Psychiatry and Sexual Disorders. With impeccable experience in Psychiatry and De-addiction Medicine, Dr. Pattojoshi’s name figures among the top mental health practitioners in the state. He is qualified in MBBS, DPM and MD degrees. 

Dr. Avinash De Sousa

Dr. Avinash De Sousa is a consultant psychiatrist and psychotherapist with a private practice in Mumbai. He has over 300 publications in national and international journals. He is one of the few psychiatrists who in addition to a psychiatry degree has an MBA in Human Resource Development, a Masters in Psychotherapy and Counseling and an MPhil in Psychology. He is also the editor of a journal called Indian Journal of Mental Health

Dr. Prasad Raj Dandekar

Dr. Prasad Raj Dandekar brings in his diverse experience with several world class institutions, in heading the Department of Radiation Oncology at Sir H N Reliance Foundation. He is trained at the apex cancer institute of India, the Tata Memorial Hospital and was selected for the fellowship in Head and Neck Cancers at the globally renowned oncology centre, The Royal Marsden NHS Trust Hospital at London, UK. He is passionate about raising cancer awareness and conducts many online as well as offline activities to spread awareness about the causes, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancers.

Here is the detailed agenda of the webinars:

Webinar August 16th, 4 pm – 5 pm

Topic: Sexual Variation and Mental Health:  

By Dr Dinesh Bhugra, Honorary consultant psychiatrist at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, a former president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. Ex-president of the World Psychiatric Association and the President-Elect of the British Medical Association

Topic: Understanding diversity within the LGBTQ+ community

Addressed by Dr Amrit Pattojoshi, Professor Hi-Tech Medical College and Hospital, Direct Council Member IPS

Topic: LGBT+ Mental Health: Myths and Facts

Addressed by Dr Avinash De Souza, Consultant psychiatrist and psychotherapist with a private practice in Mumbai.Convener and co-chair of LGBT+ task force of IPS

Moderated by: Dr Prasad Raj Dandekar, HOD, Radiation Oncology, HN Hospital. Founder of HPQI India (Healthcare Professional of Queer India), co-founder – Seenagers GupShup Group

Panel discussion and Q&A

Webinar 2: August 23rd, 4pm – 5pm 


Dr Prasad Raj Dandekar, HOD, Radiation Oncology, HN Hospital. Founder of HPQI India (Healthcare Professional of Queer India), co-founder – Seenagers GupShup Group

Topic: Depression and anxiety in queer individuals

Addressed by Dr Kersi Chavda, Consultant at the PD Hinduja National, Hinduja Healthcare, and the Sir H N Reliance foundation hospital. Chairperson of the task force of the IPS dealing with the LGBTQ community

Topic: Supporting with “Coming out”

Addressed by Dr Ajit Bhide,  Ex-President  IPS, St. Martha’s Hospital, Prof. & HOD, Dept. of Psychiatry

Topic: Navigating current legal issues faced by transgender persons

Addressed by Dr Suresh Bada Math,  Professor & Head of Forensic Psychiatry Services, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences

Panel discussion and Q & A



Practo is on a mission to make quality healthcare affordable and accessible for over a billion+ Indians. India’s leading integrated healthcare company it connects the entire healthcare ecosystem together – including patients, doctors, surgeons, clinics, hospitals, pharmacies, and diagnostics – to generate exceptional value and service for all, especially the end consumers.

As technology becomes an integral part of healthcare, Practo has also become an essential enabler in helping doctors understand the nuances of managing and securely storing all health data. Practo encrypts all data with 256-bit encryption, uses HIPAA-compliant data centers, and is one of the few healthcare companies to be ISO 27001 certified. Practo is present in 20+ countries, helping over 30 crore patients, by connecting them with 1 lakh+ verified doctor partners.

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