Innovative Strengths Model Training in Beijing

October 17, 2010

Asia Australia Mental Health and the Peking University Institute of Mental Health delivered an innovative training program to mental health professionals in October 2010.  The Balanced Rehabilitation Training featured the Strengths Model of Case Management and over 100 mental health professionals travelled from across China to attend.  This training is the most recent activity in the 686 Program- the major Chinese national mental health reform which is currently in its 6th year.

Graeme Doidge and Julia Oxley from Hawthorn Community Mental Health Service at St. Vincent’s ran a two day workshop on the Strengths Model of Case Management Training, focusing on the Journey to Recovery.  This model developed by Rapp and Goscha  is based on a belief that people can and do recover from the experience of mental illness and that clinicians play a positive role in assisting that process.

The Australian team was joined by Professor Byron Good, Professor of Medical Anthropology, Harvard Medical School, who presented on the use of anthropological ways of listening to support the recovery of individuals and families.  Professor Good also provided expert commentary to support the AAMH-led training, and was very positive about the approach.  Dr. Good’s work with using clinical narratives and the lived experience of health complemented the recovery model.

More than 100 people, including senior psychiatrists and hospital directors attended the training program from across China.  Director of Department of Public Mental Health, Peking University Institute of Mental Health, Professor Ma Hong was enthusiastic about the material in this program.  She said that  “the Strength Model is a very new concept for Chinese, because Chinese people are used to finding and talking about deficiencies. This new concept will have huge impact. I think we can apply this in our practice and will really help people’s recovery”