See below a brief profile of the individuals who founded The Good Practice Group in 2010.

1. Gameela Samarasinghe is a clinical and social psychologist. Her areas of research include violence and conflict-related psychological distress and wellbeing, cultural relevance of psychosocial interventions, migration and domestic violence. Gameela has been involved in supporting the provision of services for conflict-affected and other vulnerable groups through training, supervision, policy development and research for two decades. She has experience of working with educational institutions, state institutions, UN agencies as well as smaller non-government entitites. Gameela has a BA and a Masters degree from the Sorbonne (Paris), and a doctorate from the University of Brest, France.

Current institutional affiliations:
Since 1993 Department of Sociology, University of Colombo (Associate Professor in Psychology)
Since 1996 Centre for Women’s Research, Colombo (Board Member)
Since 2006 The Asia Foundation, Sri Lanka (Technical Advisor)
Since 2009 Nest Sri Lanka (Vice-Patron)


2. Maleeka Salih is a psychosocial trainer and researcher. Since 1999, she has assisted a range of government, UN and humanitarian agencies in Sri Lanka and the Maldives to integrate psychosocial approaches within their services and projects. Prior to this, Maleeka worked with drug rehabilitation and prevention services for the government of the Maldives. In addition, she has researched and published on micro-finance schemes, youth employment and private sector potentials for peacebuilding in Sri Lanka. Her  doctorate from the University of Edinburgh and Queen Margaret University was on linkages between justice and wellbeing in Sri Lanka.

Current institutional affiliations:
Since 2012 Mental Health & Psychosocial Support Network, (Manager)



3. Mahesan Ganesan is a consultant psychiatrist. His work has focussed on developing mental health systems in Sri Lanka. As the sole psychiatrist for the Eastern Province for almost 9 years, he was responsible for providing services for over 1.4 million people. He helped develop a care model with that incorporates child protection, gender based violence, drug and alcohol abuse, psychosocial activities, services for intellectual disability and mobilization of consumers. Since 2008, he works at the National Institute for Mental Health, Angoda. He continues to support the development of services throughout the country. Ganesan has an MBBS from the University of Colombo and an MD in Psychiatry from the Post-Graduate Institute of Medicine, Sri Lanka.

Current institutional affiliations:
Since 2006 Samutthana (Director)
Since 2007 Ampara Special Needs Network (Honorary President)
Since 2008 Survivors Associated (Guarantee) Ltd (Director)
Since 2009 Global Initiative on Psychiatry (Board Member)


4. Ananda Galappatti is a medical anthropologist and a practitioner in the field of mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) in situations of conflict, disaster and other adverse social conditions. His work in this field over the past 18 years has been predominantly in Sri Lanka, in the areas of capacity-building, research, evaluation and coordination of services. Ananda has a BA (Hons) from Cambridge University and an MSc from University College London. In 2008, he received a Ramon Magsaysay Award for his work in the field of MHPSS intervention in emergencies. He was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2011.

Current institutional affiliations:
Since 2003 Intervention Journal (Editorial Board Member)
Since 2006 Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Colombo (Visiting Lecturer)
Since 2008 Mental Health and Psychosocial Network (Management Board Member)
Since 2013  Mental Health Innovation Network (Advisory Board Member)


5. Felician Francis is a psychosocial practitioner, development facilitator and leadership trainer. He has been involved in the fields of development, humanitarian and voluntary social work for over 10 years. He has experience in working with children, youth, migrant workers, voluntary groups, faith-based organisations, inter-agency forums, government collaborative initiatives and managing international partners. His interests and work have been  in psychosocial practice (counselling support, training & supervision of support personnel, staff care & organisational stress management, research, teaching and coordination), development facilitation (program planning, impact assessment, coordination mechanism, institutional development and fund-raising) and volunteerism and leadership development (volunteer mobilization and initiatives, fund-raising and training).  Felician holds a post-graduate diploma in Counselling and Psychosocial Support from the University of Colombo, a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from the Urbaniana University in Rome and also followed the International Summer School in Forced Migration at the Refugee Studies Center, University of Oxford in 2007.

Current institutional affiliations:

Since 2001 YMCA (Volunteer, Former-President of the National Council of the YMCAs of Sri Lanka and Vice-Chair of Mission and Response Committee of Asia-Pacific Alliance of YMCAs)
Since 2006 Strategic Inspirations Pvt. Ltd (Associate Consultant)
Since 2009 Suriya Women’s Development Centre, Batticaloa (Honorary Advisor)


DSC_45066. Sarala Emmanuel is a development practitioner and researcher based in Eastern Sri Lanka. Her work has been with local women’s groups focussing on women’s right to development, responding to violence against women, responding to challenges of civil and political rights of communities living in conflict and post disaster contexts. She also has worked with psychosocial and child protection services for children at risk, especially documenting examples of good practice and conducting research on service gaps. Sarala has a MA in Development Studies from the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague, a Post-Graduate Diploma in Women’s Studies from Colombo University and a BA from the University of Bangalore.

Current institutional affiliations:
Since 2005 Women’s Coalition for Disaster Management, Batticaloa (Member, Former Coordinator)
Since 2005 Suriya Women’s Development Centre, Batticaloa (Currently Executive Director)

7. Chathuri Jayasooriyya is a psychosocial practitioner with a special interest in the care and protection of vulnerable children, especially those in residential care or in conflict with the law. Her work has entailed providing direct services to children, implementing managing initiatives at an institutional level, and supporting networking, advocacy and policy development at a sectoral level nationally and regionally. Chathuri has a BA (Hons) from the University of Colombo, a Post-Graduate Diploma and MA in Counselling and Psychosocial Support from the Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Colombo.  From 2009 to 2014, she also served as the Network Host of the Mental Health & Psychosocial Support Network.  Chathuri’s formal association with The Good Practice Group ended in 2015.