South Asian History Month

We first celebrated South Asian History Month in July 2020 to celebrate, mark and honour South Asian cultures and histories – particularly the intertwined histories of the UK and South Asian communities – and how South Asian cultures are present throughout the UK.

We use South Asian History Month to celebrate the history, arts, culture and heritage of people with roots in the South Asian countries of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Our goal is to help people better understand the diversity of present-day Britain.

South Asian History Month 2024

Podcast: Tackling mental health challenges in South Asia

In this episode, we are joined by Dr Manoj Kumar, the RCPsych South Asian Chair, to discuss the mental health landscape in South Asia, with a focus on India.

Blog post: Challenging traditions – Navigating mental health stigma for South Asian youth in the UK

4th year medical student, Projit Kar, writes a blog post to celebrate this year's South Asian History Month.

Free members' webinar: 'Free to be me' – 4 July 2024

As part of our celebration of South Asian History Month, we held a free webinar for members.

Chaired by Dr Shahid Latif, the webinar featured a discussion of the journeys and learnings of doctors from different countries in South East Asia and their thoughts on this year’s theme: 'Free to be me'. The webinar was followed by a Q&A discussion.

We spoke to four doctors about their journey and some of the strategies or initiatives that the College or their organisations have used to support professionals/ psychiatrists from different cultural backgrounds.


  • India: Bhavna Chawda
  • Pakistan: Aamer Malik
  • Sri Lanka: Maheshi Wickramanayake
  • Bangladesh: Suhana Ahmed

Previous years

Blog post: My journey from South Asian to UK practice, second motherhood, community and cultural differences

Dr Supriya Agarwal shares her own personal account of life in the UK since being recruited as an overseas doctor four years ago. She discusses the differences between mental health care in India and the UK and the challenges she has overcome along the way.

Blog post: Breaking barriers – The imperative of an innovative mindset for clinicians from a South Asian background

Dr Amit Chougule delves into the importance of developing an innovative mindset, the current barriers that hinder unconventional approaches, and how cultivating this mindset can greatly benefit clinicians in their careers and patient care.

Blog post: Looking back, looking forwards

Former College President Professor Dinesh Bhugra CBE wrote a blog post to finish our celebrations of South Asian History Month.

Interview: Dr Saardia Muzaffar

We spoke to General Adult Consultant Psychiatrist, Dr. Saadia Muzaffar as part of our south Asian History Month celebrations. She spoke about being a South Asian psychiatrist, South Asian culture, and some of the struggles of being a psychiatrist from a South Asian background.

Webinar: Inequalities – through different lenses

In this special Free Members' Webinar for South Asian History Month 2022 – chaired by our Dean Dr Subodh Dave – we considered inequalities in the NHS through the lens of British Empire, how reducing stigma in South Asian communities can address health inequalities, and the impact of gender inequality on mental health in Sri Lanka.

Speakers included Dr Santosh Mudholkar and Dr Parvinder Shergill from the UK and Dr Sayuri Perera, who joined from Sri Lanka.

Interview: Dr Santosh Mudholkar

To celebrate South Asian History Month we spoke to Consultant Psychiatrist, Dr Santosh Mudholkar, about what it's like to be a South Asian psychiatrist and some of the challenges, as well as South Asian culture.

In 2021 we hosted two free members events for South Asian History Month. The first: Systemic racism and how to tackle it, featured talks by a range of leading members of South Asian heritage. The second event: COVID – unity through adversity, talked about the impact and challenges of COVID-19 on South Asian doctors and clinicians in mental health trusts.

We also produced a podcast that discussed what it is like to have family living back in South Asia during the pandemic. A second podcast talked to Dr Santosh Mudholkar who explored the interaction between culture, music and the brain.

Additionally, we published two new blog posts (see below) that revealed personal narratives from South Asian psychiatrists, adding to the many blog posts we shared in 2020.


Dr Trudi Seneviratne talks about heritage, mental health and the importance of massage

Dr Ananta Dave speaks on careers, COVID and the South Asian Community


Facing COVID-19 in the South Asian community

We are joined by two wonderful psychiatrists Dr Shevonne Matheiken and Dr Poorna Nagasinghe for South Asian History Month. In this podcast we will be discussing what it's like to have family living back in South Asia during the pandemic, the effect of COVID on deprived communities and finding solace in singing.

Listen to the podcast

Music, art and neuroscience

Dr Santosh Mudholkar explores thoughts on the interaction between culture, music and the brain. Historically, art and music have played a prominent role in South Asian culture in bringing people together and lifting mental wellbeing.

Listen to the podcast

Gender disparity as a threat to the mental well-being of young Sri Lankan women

In this BJPsych International podcast hosts Sachin Shah and Hamilton Morrin discuss the article “Gender disparity as a threat to the mental well-being of young Sri Lankan women” from the November 2019 issue of the journal. They are joined by co-author of the article, Dr Miyuru Chandradasa. What gender disparities exist in Sri Lanka and how can this affect the mental health of women in the country?

Listen to the podcast

Blog posts relating to South Asian History Month