The Goa Psychiatric Society was founded in 1989. Dr John Fernandes, the then HOD and Director of Institute of IPHB was the first president, while Dr Kakode was the secretary. Dr Nishikant Sukerkar, Dr Pushpa Dukle, Dr Damodar Kunkolienkar, Dr Brahmanand Kunkolienkar were members.
In 1990 the first conference (The West Zone Psychiatric Conference) was organized by the Goa Psychiatric Society. This was under the guidance of Prof. L P Shah and Dr Roshan Master. The conference was inaugurated by Dr Bakshi while Dr Bhaskaran was the guest of honour
In 1993 the Goa Psychiatric Society organized the IPS midterm CME. DR Venkoba Rao, Dr MAM Khan, Dr Kuruvilla (then Editor, IPS journal), Dr Shastri, Dr Kulhara, Dr L P Shah, Dr Roshan Master, Dr A P Shah , Dr A K Agarwal, Dr Ravi Abhayankar, Dr Manoj Bhatawdekar , Dr Hema Shah were the faculty.
The Goa Psychiatric Society worked tirelessly to spread community awareness and destigmatise Psychiatry by talks to IMA , educational institutions, and interviews in newspapers/radio/and Television.
They also persuaded the managements of local colleges to start graduate and post graduate courses in Psychology, Psychiatric social work, counseling etc.
This was taken further `by organizing the 32nd annual conference of Indian Psychiatric Society, west zone, with the theme of’ Public Psychiatry ‘ in 2001. The highlight of this conference was a talk on public’s view of Psychiatry by Dr Nandkumar Kamat, a scientist at Goa University to a full audience.
The name of the society was changed to’ Psychiatric Society Of Goa’ and further committees carried on the work of the pioneers with zest and commitment.
In 2012 the then committee organized the first state conference GPsyCON which was enthusiastically received and continuing the proud tradition is now in its 12th year.
The Psychiatric Society Of Goa organizes regular workshops and lectures by eminent speakers to keep its members updated about the latest developments in the field of Psychiatry.
Objectives of the Psychiatric Society of Goa
Dr Wenona H Fernandes
Mental illness is often marked with stigma which remains a huge barrier to receiving help. Responsible members of public and organizations have a duty to ensure that persons suffering from mental illness are not prejudiced or marginalized.
Print and electronic media are powerful mediums which can positively influence public opinion and bring about a change in the way society treats mentally ill. Another important aspect being the sensitivity with which the deaths by suicide are depicted in the news items. One should not reveal the identity of the victim and sensationalise the unfortunate event; it is important that the aggrieved family members are not further traumatized.
The Psychiatric Society of Goa hence has decided to institute an annual award to acknowledge progressive and sensitive reporting in print and electronic media.