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Somasundaram, Daya

Daya Somasundaram Faculty of Medicine, University of Jaffna and a Consultant Psychiatrist

Daya Somasundaram is a senior professor of psychiatry at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Jaffna, and a consultant psychiatrist working in northern Sri Lanka for over two decades. He has also worked in Cambodia for two years in a community mental health programme with the Transcultural Psychosocial Organisation. Apart from teaching and training a variety of health staff and community-level workers, his research and publications have mainly concentrated on the psychological effects of disasters, both man-made wars and natural tsunami, and the treatment of such effects. His book Scarred Minds: The Psychological Impact of War on Sri Lankan Tamils describes the psychological effects of war on individuals. He has co-authored The Broken Palmyra: The Tamil Crisis in Sri Lanka: An Inside Account.

Somasundaram received the Commonwealth Scholarship in 1988 and the fellowship of the Institute of International Education’s Scholars Rescue Fund in 2006–07. He is a fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists and Sri Lanka College of Psychiatrists. He has functioned as co-chair of the subcommittee on PTSD formed under the WHO working group on stress-related disorders during the ICD-11 revision process. Currently on an extended sabbatical in Australia, he is working as a consultant psychiatrist at Glenside Hospital, supporting Survivors of Torture and Trauma Assistance and Rehabilitation Service (STTARS), and is a clinical associate professor at the University of Adelaide.