Psychiatrists experiences of racism working in the forensic mental health

Dr Gunvant Patel1, Dr Prashant Pandurangi1, Sam Calvin1, Marshall Watson1, Yolisha Singh1

1Private Practice, Carlton, Australia

The increased scrutiny of racism following the murder of George Floyd and the racial disparity in outcomes during the COVID pandemic has thrown a spotlight on all aspects of how it manifests in society.  Psychiatry and the law are certainly not strangers to its presence historically. We will consider how the differences for forensic psychiatrists of colour manifest in what is a predominantly white power structure in the Australian criminal justice system.

Evidence from overseas will be presented to stimulate the audience to consider how this may be a lived experience and also impact on the work done by forensic psychiatrists of colour locally.

The aim is to encourage a dialogue and a sharing of relevant experiences from participants and the audience on a very challenging and sensitive topic.

The presentation will be of 45 minutes duration so as to allow for an interactive experience in the following 45 minutes.


Dr Gunvant Patel is a forensic psychiatrist in private practice. He is Deputy Chair of the Victorian subcommittee of the Faculty of Forensic Psychiatry in the Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Psychiatry. He has an active interest in the impacts of racism on mental health and founded PREMHA (Psychiatrists for Racial Equity in Mental Health Australia) in 2021.

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