Improving Access Through Tele-psychiatry in Tibetan Settlements IMPACT-T


Funder: Bureau for Population, Refugees, and Migration

IMPACT-T is a pilot research project aiming to improve access to mental health professionals and treatment to the Tibetan refugee communities in India. This project is being piloted at four southern Tibetan settlements in India, namely, Bylakuppe, Kollegal, Hunsur, and Mundgod. IMPACT-T is carried out in collaboration with "Sangath, a mental health NGO based in Goa."

In Tibetan refugee settlements in India, as of now, there is no data to suggest the mental health burden. A cross-sectional prevalence survey in collaboration with Sangath is underway. The results from this survey can provide some background on the mental health status of the Tibetan refugees in India. Currently, there is no Tibetan psychiatrist in these settlements. The mental health patients have to travel to the neighboring cities for psychiatric consultation and treatment. The long travels cause them extreme distress making regular follow-up visits difficult. Moreover, patients rarely seek counseling treatment due to a lack of awareness and mental health professionals in the settlements.

Our Goals

To improve access to psychiatrists.

To improve access to counseling treatment.

To improve access to regular follow-up sessions.

To assess the feasibility and acceptability of the tele-psychiatry mode of treatment by the Tibetan people.

Overall, to reduce the existing mental health treatment gap in the Tibetan communities.

About us

The Department of Health (DOHe), one of the seven departments of Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) is registered in the name of Tibetan Voluntary Health Association (TVHA) under the Indian Society Registration Act XXI 1860. Established in 1981, DOHe is working as a registered charitable organization catering to the basic health care needs of Tibetan people living in India and Nepal through its network of health facilities.

Since the early 90s, the mental health desk of the Department of Health has actively played a crucial role in training its staff on counseling and providing emotional support to the Tibetan torture survivors in India through home visits. The desk continues training the healthcare workers on counseling skill-building and promoting awareness on emotional hygiene in the schools and settlements through events, social media, and public talks. Under the medical reimbursement program, the desk currently provides financial assistance to about 200 Tibetans with a minimal financial background who are on psychiatric medications. The desk successfully formed its mental health core committee in 2020. The advisory members are Dr. Tsetan Dorji Sadutshang, Dr. Tsewang Tamdin, Geshe Lhakdor, Dr. Carol Weingarten, Dr. Takako Suzuki, and Health Secretary. PRM supports all mental health activities.


Mental Health Desk, Department of Health

Palden Dhondup

Secretary, Dept. of Health, CTA

Tsering Youdon

Joint Secretary, Dept. of Health, CTA

Ngawang Tenzin

Deputy Secretary, Dept. of Health, CTA

Tsering Yangdol

MH Program Coordinator, Dept. of Health, CTA

Sherab Tsomo

Telepsychiatry Project Coordinator, Dept. of Health, CTA



Dr. Abhijit Nadkarni

Co-Director, Addictions Research Group, Sangath and Associate Professor, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK

Dr. Ravindra Agrawal

MRCPsych, Consultant Psychiatrist

Ankur Garg

Research Co-ordinator, Addictions Research Group, Sangath

Subhash Pednekar

Counsellor, Addictions Research Group, Sangath

Lalan Karapurkar

Counsellor, Addictions Research Group, Sangath

Pranali Kundaikar

Counsellor, Additions Research Group, Sangath



Dr. Shilpa R Pandya

MBBS DNB Neuro-psychiatrist

Dr. Anubhuti Upadhyay

MBBS DNB Neuro-psychiatry


Community Nurses

Dickey Dolker

Mundgod Nurse

Sangay Choezom

Mundgod Nurse

Tenzin Yangkyi

Bylakuppe Nurse

Tenzin Sangmo P

Bylakuppe Nurse

Tsering Dolker

Hunsur Nurse

Tsering Wangmo

Hunsur Nurse

Nyima Yangkyi

Kollegal Nurse

Namkhang Lhamo

Kollegal Nurse


Frequently Asked Questions


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