World Bipolar Day National Conference 2024

World-Bipolar-Day-National-Conference-2024It is around the corner and with it, an occasion for our pan India community to come together yet again! Each year, World Bipolar Day is celebrated worldwide on the 30th of March, to mark the birth anniversary of Vincent Van Gogh, the iconic artist who was posthumously diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. Bipolarindia, in collaboration with Amaha Health, is organising the World Bipolar Day National Conference. This full day Conference will be held on Sat, 30th of March, 2024 at the grand S P Jain Auditorium, Bombay Hospital, Mumbai.


Vincent Van Gogh Image by heblo from Pixabay

This annual event on our calendar goes back to 30th of March, 2016, when we hosted India’s first such National Conference to mark day. It has been a regular feature barring the forced interruption during the pandemic when the Conference had to be shifted to a virtual platform.

This edition is an attempt to look at mental health from a wider lens, apart from the biomedical. Sharing of lived experience perspectives on the role of family, fitness pursuits with remarkable results, social determinants that contribute to mental wellbeing (or distress) and holistic health approaches will embellish the day. Speakers from the Clinical background also have very interesting themes in store for the audience!

The day has a rich and fascinating line up of speakers from diverse backgrounds on highly relevant themes.
Have a look for yourself!


Dr-Anjali-GokarnDr Anjali Gokarn: ‘Me & My Family’
Dr Anjali Gokarn, MBBS, MD is a Pediatrician by Profession. She has been in practice at Vasai, near Mumbai, for the last 35 years. Anjali has had first-hand connect with mental health conditions on several fronts. She has been living with Anxiety and Depression for four decades. A holistic approach to healing has helped her recover to remission. In addition to this, she has lived in a family with high prevalence of Mental illnesses. She has been a caregiver to her son who has bipolar disorder. Her struggles around mental health has made Anjali determined to contribute to building mental health awareness and support.
Anjali is a fitness enthusiast and is a fine communicator. In recent years, she has been a fine leader and contributor to the peer support community of Bipolarindia and is on Advisory Board, Mental Health Support Foundation.

Disha-ParekhDisha Parekh: My Fitness Journey

Disha is a marketing professional with an MBA from ISB, Hyderabad. She is a fitness enthusiast who thrives with bipolar disorder. Disha has a strong passion for following a healthy lifestyle which led to her own inspiring weight loss and fitness journey. Disha’s is currently completing a Health Coach certification.
She enjoys raising her 2 lovely boys

Arun-SinghArun Singh: Mental Health Does Not Exist In A Silo
Arun Singh has lived experience with Schizo Affective Disorder for over 5 decades and calls himself a ‘Bipolar Wellness Warrior’.  At the age of 66 years he works full time for a well known non profit Mental Health Organisation. In his spare time, Arun has been supporting and contributing significantly to Mental Health Support Foundation as a Volunteer.

His story exemplifies the theme of his talk, ‘Mental Health Does Not Exist in a Silo’. Views expressed by Arun would be his personal views and do not represent those of his organisation.
Neha Kirpal, Co-Founder, Amaha: My Story
For over a decade and a half, Neha has worked at the intersection of the creative and socialNeha-Kirpal sectors. Having founded India’s first international art fair, she ran it successfully for ten years before selling the business & moving her focus entirely to the marginalised sector of mental health. As a social entrepreneur, Neha brings tremendous experience in weaving impact networks with great passion and commitment, stemming from her own family’s mental health struggles for over three decades.

AmahaIn 2019, Neha joined Dr. Amit Malik as co-founder of Amaha, one of India’s largest mental health organisations delivering accessible and high quality treatment, care and support in 15+ languages, with an in-house team of over 150+ psychologists and psychiatrists. Amaha now offers in-person consultations at its three centres in Bangalore, Mumbai & Delhi NCR.
An Aspen fellow (2018) and an Eisenhower fellow (2018), Neha is part of the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders community (2015-2020). She received the NDTV Indian of the Year award (2018), Fortune Magazine’s 40 under 40 (2015), and the coveted Business Today’s India’s Most Powerful Women award for three consecutive years.

Hvovi-BhagwagarHvovi Bhagawagar:
Relationships~ Navigating the Waves Together

Hvovi is the Founder of “Manashni,” an independent practice that aids clients with complex trauma, personality disorders, and mood disorders. She is currently a PhD Scholar at Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), researching secondary trauma in psychotherapists. She is also Board Member and Consultant with Mental Health Support Foundation, an NGO that offers support to persons with mental illness and their caregivers. She holds Visiting Faculty Roles at Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Xavier’s College and Sophia College.
She is an International Affiliate of the APA (American Psychological Association), Associate Member of the IACP (Indian Association of Clinical Psychologists), and volunteer with the ISSTD (International Society for the Study of Trauma & Dissociation), with a commitment to advancing the field of trauma and dissociation studies. She has been awarded for humanitarian efforts from the Young Environmentalists Foundation as well as the Times of India.

Dr-Suhavana-BSuhavana B: Physical & Mental Health~ The Connect
Suhavana has been working as a therapist since 2017, following her MPhil in Clinical Psychology from Manipal University. Soon after which she worked at SCARF hospital in Chennai, where she was involved in multiple research projects and also tasked with conducting workshops and training on geriatric mental health. She has also been working with the geriatric population specifically in dementia care. Her interests lie in emotion-focused and trauma therapy.
Through the years, she has also been a visiting consultant in other hospitals such as VHS Hospital (Chennai) where she worked in the area of diabetes, hypertension, endocrine disorders, lifestyle illnesses, and stress. Through her years of experience, she has learned about the role of mental health in overall healthcare and the intersection of mental health with cardio-metabolic illnesses. She hopes to empower others in the community with information regarding the role of physical health on mental health and vice versa. At her last conference presentation, she was awarded “Young Researcher”.

Dr-Bhooshan-ShuklaDr Bhooshan Shukla:
Mood Disorders in Children & Adolescents

Dr Bhooshan Shukla MD, DNB, MRCPsych (London), Medical Diploma in Hypnosis (UK) Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Pune. He has been in private practice in 2000 and is a visiting Consultant Child Psychiatrist at SKN Medical College, Pune, MH. He has been conducting the “NO-GO-TELL” workshops to prevent Child Sex Abuse since 2000 which has been featured on Satyamev Jayate and adopted by various NGO and Govt agencies.

He has a Collaboration and Advisory role with NMC, Schools, Colleges, NGOs, Probation Service, JJ Board, Family Court and the Police. He is Consultant on Child Mental Health issues for 4 movies and 2 plays. Co-author of book –“Basics of Sex, Gender and Sexuality”

Dr Bhooshan has been involved in myth busting and familiarization of mental health issues via newspaper columns, podcasts, TV and Radio appearances and public programs.

Puneet-BhatnagarPuneet Bhatnagar: The Power of Community
Puneet Bhatnagar is a leading creativity, communication, and happiness trainer. Business strategist, keynote speaker, storyteller, Sunday columnist. A community builder, connecting achievers spread over 50 countries. He is a certified NLP trainer, with a rich experience of more than 25 years. He was Creative Head at Star News. And part of the think tank that launched the news channel. Earlier, he was a Creative Director at Bates Asia Mumbai. His creative work has won international awards and also finds a proud place in the ‘Showcase of Indian Advertising.’

He is Co-founder of Creativity Mission India, an initiative to promote creative thinking in society. And leading a city-branding project for the ancient city of Ujjain with a community of 1.8 L members. Some of his well-known campaigns– Star News: Apko Rakhe Agey, Tata Namak: Desh Ka Namak, Kaun Banega Crorepati: 9 Baj Gaye Kya!
Significantly, Puneet Bhatnagar has been a Mentor for Bipolarindia and now, for Mental Health Support Foundation.

Dr-Santosh-ChaturvediDr Santosh K Chaturvedi 
Keynote Address: What Is Recovery?

Dr Santosh K Chaturvedi, MD, FRCPsych [UK] is an Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist at the Jagadguru Kripalu Chikithsalaya, Vrindavan. He was a Senior Professor of Psychiatry and Former Dean of Behavioural Sciences at NIMHANS, Bangalore. He is one of the Editors-in-Chief of the Journal of Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Mental Health, published by Springers Nature.

He was awarded the Indian Council of Medical Research’s awards on three occasions and has won many awards of the Indian Psychiatric Society. He has more than 650 Scientific publications and has edited and / or published Twenty five Books, Manuals or Journals, including on Understanding and Managing Clinical Depression

Panel Discussion followed by Q & A
Dr Milan Balakrishnan, Ramya Pillutla, Moderated by: Vijay Nallawala

Dr-Milan-BalakrishnanDr. Milan Balakrishnan is a licensed psychiatrist with over 12 years of experience providing compassionate care to patients of all ages. He has worked in various mental health settings and is trained in Mindfulness-based therapies. Dr. Balakrishnan is also a respected researcher, educator, and clinical professor at Masina Hospital. He also practices at AMAHA. He has published articles in peer-reviewed journals, presented research at conferences, and been quoted in newspaper and magazine articles. Dr. Milan is dedicated to improving mental health and is the founder trustee of Mental Health Support Foundation. He is also ex secretary Bombay Psychiatric Society, Member of Indian Psychiatric Society and Committee member of the Digital Mental Health Committee of Indian Psychiatric Society. He is passionate about online psychiatry , entrepreneurship in mental health. He is on Panel, Bipolarindia and also Founding Trustee, Mental Health Support Foundation.

Ramya-PillutlaRamya Pillutla is a mental health researcher. She is a trained yoga therapist and teacher and has used yoga and mindfulness as one of the cornerstones in managing her bipolar disorder. Ramya also volunteers as member of Core Team on Mental Health Support Foundation’s livelihoods initiative, Let’s Walk Together. She uses art, music and writing as a means of creative expression and to spread awareness about mental health. In her spare time, she reads, plays the piano and dreams of mountains.

Vijay-NallawalaVijay Nallawala is an Author and Managing Trustee of Mental Health Support Foundation. His arduous journey of recovery from Bipolar Disorder inspired him to found Bipolarindia in 2013. Formerly, an entrepreneur with over thirty years of experience, he is now fully committed to creating social impact.
His Book, A Bipolar’s Journey- From Torment to Fulfilment, was published globally in 2013. He is on Advisory Board of several Mental Health NGOs and has been invited as Speaker at International Conferences & Symposia. He has been featured in print media, Podcasts, short films on Mental Health. Passionate about fitness, Vijay calls himself a Mental Wellness Warrior.

shumi-shettyTo knit all the happenings of the day together, we have
Host for the Day, Shumi Shetty

Shumi Shetty is a certified Mindset & Business Motivational Speaker who conducts seminars which are more experiential in nature rather than informational. She is the Charter President of “Mulund Toastmasters” an International Public Speaking Organization which is headquartered in California, USA. She is experienced in Transformational Trainings, Life Coaching and Motivational Skill Building.
She has lived experience and is an active member of Bipolarindia

A glimpse into what last year’s conference looked like>>

Registration for this Conference is NOW OPEN!

Reserve your seat at just Rs.300/-, although you have the option to pay a higher amount.
(Conference Registration, Inclusive of Breakfast, Lunch & High Tea)

Bipolarindia is an Initiative of a Registered NGO,

Conference Date and Timings:
Saturday, 30th of March 2024
9 to 10 am: Registration and Breakfast
10am  to 6 pm Conference with breaks in between

The Organisers, Bipolarindia, Amaha and Mental Health Support Foundation will take due precautions to ascertain that the content of the conference contributes to your knowledge in a safe way.
However, if you are a person living with mental health conditions or other vulnerabilities, some of the sharing at the Conference has the potential of triggering you.
You may want to seek advice from your Mental Health Professional to ascertain whether this Conference is suitable for you to participate in or not.
The nature of the Conference makes participation suitable for age groups 18 and above.
By attending the Conference you agree that you will not hold the Organisers, either jointly or separately, responsible for any content in course of the Conference that may affect you adversely.
Although all speakers have confirmed their participation, the Organisers reserve the right to change/replace any of the speakers if the need arises.

S  P Jain Auditorium, 4th Floor, Bombay Hospital (New Wing), New Marine lines, Mumbai.