A therapist will travel to South Africa to talk at a conference about her ‘groundbreaking’ work with Tamil refugees in Wimbledon.

Meera Bahu helps those traumatised by the horrors of war in Sri Lanka such as shelling, bombing, the deaths of friends and family and physical, psychological and sexual torture.

Ms Bahu, a cognitive behavioural therapist, works with the Tamil Depression Management Group which was started by South West London and St George's Mental Health NHS Trust (SWLSTG) four years ago.

It was founded in response to a need highlighted by members of the Shree Ghanapathy Hindu Temple in Wimbledon.

So far around 100 Tamils have gone through the 12-week course of therapy which is designed for adults.

Ms Bahu said: "These people experienced appallingly traumatic experiences which resulted in problems including self-harm, anxiety, depression, panic attacks and suicidal thoughts.

"This is in addition to ongoing physical disabilities caused by what they suffered in Sri Lanka and the problems associated with being an asylum-seeker in London such as housing, employment and isolation."

She will address the 21st World Congress of the International Association for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professions (IACAPAP) which is being held from Monday, August 11, to Friday, August 15, in Durban.

She will then take part in workshops to discuss how to expand her work to other cultures and age groups across the world.