APEC announces Roadmap to Promote Mental Wellness

December 10, 2014

APEC Leaders Week concluded in Beijing in November 2014 with a new and exciting commitment to mental health.  For the first time in APEC’s 25 year history, mental health was raised in both the 2014 APEC Ministerial Declaration and 2014 APEC Leaders (Heads of State) Declaration.  The APEC Ministerial Declaration, released this past weekend, endorses the mental health roadmap as a key component of the “Healthy Asia Pacific 2020” initiative.

 The APEC Roadmap to Promote Mental Wellness in a Healthy Asia Pacific (2014-2020) outlines a series of activities for APEC member economies and stakeholders to achieve the identified goals by 2020.

 The Roadmap includes specific actions such as convening an APEC Task Force on Mental Health, and working withkey representatives from government, industry, academic institutions, civil society not-for-profit organizations, and international organizations with the ability to promote collaborations especially public-private partnerships.  An APEC hub will also be established, as a sustained tool to exchange regional best practices, assess specific interventions, and inform the launch of pilot collaborations.

 The Roadmap signals enhanced collaboration between the Life Sciences Innovation Forum and Health Working Group with other APEC fora, including with the APEC Business Advisory Council to facilitate private sector engagement in the launch of pilot partnership projects and the achievement of roadmap goals.

 Future plans also include establishing a multi-stakeholder network of mental health champions across the APEC region by providing technical assistance to leaders of collaborative pilot projects, and establishing a robust surveillance and monitoring platform which will provide benchmarks for collaborations and implement suitable evaluation process and mechanism on progress.

 AAMH Co-Director Julia Fraser has described the 2015-2020 roadmap as the ‘first regional mental health collaboration that brings together public and private sector partners to discover innovative and creative solutions to a rapidly growing global burden’.

 A speaker at the APEC Workshop to Promote Innovative Collaborations in Mental Health held 2 months before the APEC Leaders Week, Prof Chee Ng reinforced the value of capitalising on best practices within the region in the strengthening mental health systems. The proposed launch of the APEC hub building on existing networks such as Asia-Pacific International Research and Education (ASPIRE) Network and Asia-Pacific Community Mental Health Development (APCMHD) Network are key examples.

 Both AAMH Co-Directors are members of APEC Task Force on Mental Health together with key mental health leaders from the 21 APEC economies. The group worked with the Project team led by Dr Michael Kron from the U.S. Department of Stateto refine the roadmap draft as an inclusive platform to achieve meaningful and tangible implementation for the next 5 years.

 Further information on the APEC Roadmap, the APEC Health Working Group and APEC Life Sciences Innovation Forum can be found at

The full APEC Leaders Declaration statement may be accessed here: