Professor Ricardo Araya has been selected as winner of the 2022 National Applied Science Award. The award is Chile’s most highly coveted award in science, and is only awarded every two years. Professor Araya is the first scientist specialising in mental health to have received the award. He was selected by ministers of Education and Science, University rectors and previous awardees.
Not only is this award an amazing personal achievement, it is a great recognition of all the people who I have worked with. Mental illness is an issue that should concern us all as it has repercussions on all aspects of our society. Receiving this award is a testament to the importance that mental health is acquiring in Chile.– Professor Ricardo Araya
Ricardo is Professor of Global Mental Health at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King's College London and an NHS Consultant Psychiatrist. He is also a member and previous Director of the Centre for Global Mental Health (CGMH), a joint research initiative between the IoPPN and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine which aims to address global mental health inequalities.
Professor Araya's expertise lies within the development of simple and affordable interventions to treat mental illnesses, particularly in low-resource settings. He has developed effective mental health interventions which use non-medical workers and strong community participation, as well as utilising technological platforms to support the delivery of these interventions. His work spans many countries across Latin America, Africa and Asia, and plays a leading role in increasing mental health research capacity within these countries.
The National Applied Science Award will be presented to Professor Araya by the President of Chile at the award ceremony in December 2022.