It is with great sadness that we share the news that Prof. M Parameshvara Deva (Malaysia) passed away on 7th August 2022.
He was a senior leader of World Psychiatric Association (WPA) and has been active in WPA activities for several years. He called the first meeting to discuss the formation of the Malaysian Psychiatric Association in November 1976. Being a WPA Zonal representative, he highlighted the vision of WPA not only in his region but also played a vital role in promotion of psychiatry globally. His contributions as chair of WPA Scientific Section on Education and pioneering role in establishing Section on Psychiatry in Developing countries will be remembered by the WPA leadership.
He had a special interest in psychosocial rehabilitation and served as past president of the World Association of Psychosocial Rehabilitation (WAPR). He was at the forefront for establishing Asian Federation for Psychiatric Associations (AFPA) & South Asian Forum on Mental health & Psychiatry and was considered as a dedicated leader in Asia. He was also instrumental in developing collaboration among Southeast Asian countries and starting professional associations in many regions. He played an important role for raising support and help during 2015 Tsunami and took a lead role in several humanitarian activities.
His career in the field saw him as a Professor of Psychiatry & Head Department of Psychiatry at the University of Malaya, Mental Health Consultant at the World Health Organization and adviser to Health Ministries in the Pacific Island countries. He believed in sustainable development of services using often limited resources available locally. This would include training families and community mental health workers in setting up clinics & starting psychosocial rehabilitation in the remote areas in countries with low resources.
Prof. Deva had enormous influence on the international community of psychiatrists with his unique ability to bring together Psychiatrists & mental health professionals from all corners of the world to serve a common cause.
Professor M. Parameshvara Deva, or simply ‘Deva’ to most of us, lived his to the fullest. WPA joins thousands of his admirers and students in conveying our sincere condolences not only to his colleagues, but especially to his family and friends who feel this great loss. We wish his loving wife, Dr Jenny Deva, their son Dr Djeevan and other family members courage and strength during this incredibly difficult time.
Prof. Dr. Afzal Javed, President, WPA
Prof. Dr. Andrew Mohanraj, President, Malaysian Mental Health Association