Japan-Australia research exchange program

July 3, 2013

AAMH was a key partner and organiser of a training program on Leadership for Community Mental Health and a Joint Symposium on the Development of Research in linking Brain, Mind and Society held in Tokyo on 26th- 28th June 2013. The three day program was a major focus for an ongoing program of collaboration under a MoU signed between the National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry (NCNP) Japan and the University of Melbourne in 2010.

Organised jointly by AAMH and its Japanese partners led by Dr Tadashi Takeshima, the leadership training program was the first of its kind for Japan, focusing on the central role of mental health professionals in mental health reform. The program attracted 60 mental health leaders from across Japan with responsibility for the planning and delivery of community mental health services nationally.

Training program sessions were led by senior Japanese representatives from the NCNP, the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, National Center for Disaster Mental Health and leading mental health organisations in Japan.  Australian presenters across the two days included the University of Melbourne’s Department of Psychiatry’s A/Prof Chee Ng and A/Prof Carol Harvey.

Training program topics ranged from the role of research in community service development and group discussion on the importance of self-leadership particularly in relation to the five-level WHO mental health services pyramid model.

The Joint Symposium on the final day was convened by the NCNP Japan and the Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne.  Attended by over 50 participants including members of the public and consumers, the symposium included reports from four researchers who had undertaken exchanges at the University of Melbourne supported by the Australia Japan Foundation. Currently section chiefs within their respective psychiatric departments, these future leaders formed strong links with leading researchers from the University of Melbourne’s Department of Psychiatry and have become mental health and psychiatry research ambassadors for Japan.

Other topics covered by leading Australian and Japanese researchers included biological and psychosocial research, advances in neuroscience , global mental health trends, the role of diet, collaborative projects and ADHD.

Prof Ian Everall summed up the proceedings of the day and proposed the expansion of the collaborative research program between NCNP and University of Melbourne in the areas of neuroscience and biological research as well as in psychosocial and disaster mental health.

Participants in the Joint Symposium included:


  • Dr Hiroshi Noda, Director General, NIMH, NCNP.
  • Dr Shinichi Kohsaka, Director of the National Institute of Neuroscience
  • Dr Tadashi Takeshima: National Center for Suicide Prevention, NCNP
  • Dr Yoshiharu Kim: President National Centre for Disaster Mental Health, NCNP
  • Dr Hiroshi Kunugi: Department of Mental Disorder Research, National Institute of Neuroscience, NCNP
  • Dr Kotaro Hattori, Department of Mental Disorder Research, National Institute of Neuroscience (NIN), NCNP
  • Dr Hisateru Tachimori, Department of Mental Health Policy and Evaluation, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH),NCNP
  • Dr Daisuke Nishi, Department of Mental Health Policy and Evaluation, NIMH, NCNP
  • Dr Kenji Kawano, Center for Suicide Prevention, NIMH, NCNP
  • Dr Atsuro Tsutsumi: International Institute of Global Health, United Nations University
  • Dr Masumi Inagaki: Department of Development Disorder, NIMH, NCNP
  • Ms Yoko Kawasaki, President of National Federation of Mental Health and Welfare Party in Japan
  • Mr Mitsuhito, Manager of Japan Epilepsy Association provided insightful comments from the viewpoint from consumers.


  • Prof Ian Paul Everall: Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne
  • A/Prof Elizabeth Scarr: Laboratory Leader, Psychiatric Neuropathology Laboratory, Department of Psychiatry: Melbourne Brain Centre, University of Melbourne
  • A/Prof Darryl Wade: Centre for Post-trauma Mental Health, Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne
  • A/Prof Carol Harvey: Psychosocial Research Centre, Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne
  • A/Prof Chee Ng, Co-Director AAMH

Proudly supported by the Australia-Japan Foundation