Sixty attend seminar on mental health services in China
15 Jun 2012
At a seminar held in Shanghai on May 14-15, 2012, 60 mental health specialists from across China gathered to examine China’s progress and challenges in building a new system of public mental health. The seminar, Mental Health Services in China: Research, Implementation and Policy, featured presentations from faculty members of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine and colleagues, including leadership, from the Shanghai Mental Health Center and the Peking University Institute of Mental Health. Key policy makers from China’s Ministry of Health and CDC and the Shanghai Municipal Health Bureau participated.
The seminar also served to launch the program, Building Research Capacity to Improve Mental Health in China across the Lifespan. Under the direction of Professors Byron Good, Mary-Jo DelVecchio Good, and Arthur Kleinman, this NIH Fogarty International Center-sponsored program will support the training of Ph.D. students and post-doctoral fellows in Shanghai and Beijing who will pursue implementation studies in mental health care aimed at supporting China’s development of new mental health services and implementation of new mental health legislation. Six psychiatrists from Beijing and Shanghai spent the spring at Harvard Medical School developing the curriculum for this five-year program.
Professor Paul Farmer joined Professor Yifeng Xu, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, President, Shanghai Mental Health Center, President, Chinese Psychiatrists Association, and Professor Xin Yu, Director, Peking University Institute of Mental Health, President Elect, Chinese Society for Psychiatry Professor of Psychiatry, the aforementioned program leadership, program alumni, and several others in making remarks during the seminar. Talks and discussion focused on:
- examples of dramatic mental health reform in China and the major challenges yet to be faced,
- the critical role of research in developing evidence-based mental health policy for the nation,
- the potential significance of the new national mental health law expected to be passed later this year,
- an analysis of innovative community-based services being developed in China,
- the mental health of youth and children in the country, and
- the development of new psychological therapies as part of China’s mental health reform and a growing interest in personal psychology among Chinese young people.
The Seminar also served to review the past ten years of research carried out by alumni of the Department’s former International Health Research Program, work that is conducted jointly with partner institutions in Shanghai and Beijing and with support from the NIH Fogarty International Center.