The Network aims to inspire and facilitate cross-cultural engagement, dialogue and exchange between art and mental health services and their respective communities.
The development of a distinct network of art and mental health leaders was considered a valuable adjunct to the existing Asia Pacific Community Mental Health Development Project (APCMHDP) Network, providing a broader means through which approaches to community mental health could be explored.
The inaugural Art and Mental Health symposium brought together local and international art and mental health practitioners and organisations.
Speaker presentations included:
- Australia: Keynote Lecture: “Art in Mental Health – opportunities for mental health promotion and overcoming stigma”, Dr Eugen Koh, Director, The Dax Centre, Australia
- China: “Predicament of the Raw Art of people with mental illness in China”, Mr Guo Haiping, Director, Nanjing Natural Art Centre, China
- India: “Art and Mental Health: The Different Interfaces”, Dr Debasis Bhattacharya, Consultant Psychiatrist, India
- Indonesia: “Indonesia Community Care for Schizophrenia – Art Activities”, Mr Bagus Utomo, Chairman, Komunitas Peduli Skizofrenia Indonesia, Indonesia
- Japan: Dr Tadashi Takeshima, Director, National Centre for Neuroscience and Psychiatry, Japan
- Korea: “Art and Mental Health”, Prof Mee Yoo, Professor of Art Therapy, Gyeonggi Provincial Mental Health Centre, Korea
- Mongolia: “Art in Mental Health activities in Mongolia”, Ms Khongorzul Amarsanaa, Centre for Human Rights and Development.
- Taiwan: “Art Therapy in Taiwan”, Ms Shu Jen Lu, Art Therapist, University of Taitung Counseling Centre, Taiwan
- Thailand: “Art in Mental Health in Thailand”, Mr Anupan Pluckpankhajee, Director, Therapeutikum Thailand, Thailand
Where the use of art in the context of mental health was more widely recognized in some countries than others, a common thread that ran through all presentations was that art, as a visual medium, has the potential to transcend many boundaries, not least the stigma that often surrounds mental illness.