Thekkumkara, Sreekanth


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Sreekanth Thekkumkara has a clinical background in mental health and addiction social work and joined as a lecturer (teaching and research) in the School of Health Sciences, University of Dundee. He has been an Academic Adviser to the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC) since January 2024. He completed his PhD (2017-2022) at the National Institute of Mental Health Sciences (NIMHANS), an Institute of National Importance in India. Sreekanth completed his MPhil in clinical Psychiatric Social Work (2015-2017) from the same institute and trained in providing psychosocial interventions for a range of issues: adult psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry, addiction medicine, community psychiatry, neurological disabilities and psychiatric/neurological rehabilitation. In addition, he was trained in specialised therapies, including family therapy, motivation enhancement therapy, exposure response prevention therapy, behavioural therapies, and solution-focused brief therapy.


Sreekanth’s PhD thesis assessed the “feasibility of peer support interventions for prisoners with common mental disorders and substance use”, funded by the government of India through the University Grant Commission (UGC) Junior/Senior Research fellowship. The research had broad implications, including replicating these models in other prison settings in Karnataka, India, and enhancing the capacity of all the prisons in the state by recruiting additional mental health professionals. He also researched the rehabilitation needs of prisoners with mental illness and policy-level recommendations for their rehabilitation and reintegration.

Before joining the University of Dundee, he worked as a research fellow in NIHR-funded multicentric research at the National Institute of Mental Health Sciences (NIMHANS), researching the “development and testing of the feasibility of behavioural interventions for tobacco use for persons with severe mental disorders” and “designing community-based interventions to manage depression among the persons with Tuberculosis” (IMPACT 4S and IMPACT CCD). Sreekanth was also actively involved in the Department of Science and Research, India-funded community mental health research to assess “the social cognition and neurocognition of persons with Schizophrenia and its correlation with functional outcomes and assessed the rehabilitation needs of caregivers and persons with severe mental disorders in a rural community”.

Throughout various studies, Sreekanth has consistently worked on mental illness and psychosocial interventions, substance use (tobacco and alcohol), multimorbidity and severe mental disorders, psychiatric rehabilitation, community mental health, crime and mental disorders, and prisoner's mental health is a particular focus. Sreekanth's methodological expertise is in evidence synthesis, including systematic reviews and meta-analyses, designing and testing the effectiveness of psychosocial interventions (implementation research), randomised control trials, mixed methodology and co-design/participatory research designs.

Sreekanth welcomes PhD applications by students interested in exploring ideas around the theme of recovery-oriented services, improving the quality of life and well-being for people living with long-term mental health conditions, lifestyle interventions to promote the health of people with long-term mental health conditions, mental health and substance use issues of prisoners, persons who are homeless and vulnerable populations, community-based mental health interventions and psychosocial interventions for addiction (tobacco & alcohol).

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, PhD in Psychiatric Social Work: Development and feasibility testing of peer support programme for prisoners with common mental disorders and substance use , National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences

1 Dec 201724 Feb 2022

Award Date: 24 Feb 2022

Master of Social Science, MPhil In Psychiatric Social Work: Need for microfinance self help groups for the caregivers of persons with mental illness in rural communities, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences

1 Jul 201530 Jun 2017

Award Date: 30 Jun 2017

Master of Social Science, Masters Degree in Social Work, Mangalore University

1 Jun 201130 May 2013

Award Date: 31 May 2013


  • HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
  • Psychosocial Interventions
  • Psychiatric Epidemiology
  • Mental Health
  • Substance use
  • community based research
  • Rehabilitation
  • research methods
  • Qualitative methods
  • HM Sociology
  • social work, groupwork, gerontology, carers, caregivers
  • Social Psychiatry
  • social theory
  • Social care
  • social work, learning technology, workforce development
  • RA1001 Forensic Medicine. Medical jurisprudence. Legal medicine
  • Mental Health
  • Substance use disorders
  • wellbeing


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