Joint Conference between University of Melbourne and NCNP, Tokyo
Between 31 October and 1 November 2011 saw the inaugural joint conference between the University of Melbourne and National Centre of Neurology and Psychiatry (NCNP) in Tokyo. This conference was aimed at strengthening the relationship between Australia and Japan, through the cooperative goal of enhancing mental health policies of both countries. Professor Ian Everall, Elizabeth Scarr, Chee Ng (all representing The University of Melbourne) and Leonie Young (former CEO and board director, beyondblue) presented at this conference.
Japan-Australia partnership strengthens through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding
Dr Takeshima, Director of Mental Health administration of the National Institute of Mental Health and National Centre of Neurology and Psychiatry (NCNP) Japan, and Dr Hisomu Chiba, Director of Japan Mental Health Association and President of Seinan Hospital, visited Melbourne in late November.
The purpose of the visit was to celebrate the signing of an MoU in mental health training and research between the NCNP and the University of Melbourne, coordinated by the Department of Psychiatry. The signing of the MoU has strengthened the collaboration between NCNP and AAMH, beginning with the development of a 5 year strategic plan for the collaboration's activities and the formation of a bilateral steering committee. The committee will assist in the development of the plan and oversee its implementation. AAMH is privileged and excited to be involved in this 5 year program and the many opportunities this will bring for creative and interesting projects for Australian and Japanese mental health professionals.
While in Melbourne, Dr. Takeshima and Dr. Chiba visited key community mental health centres in Melbourne, including Footbridge Community Care Unit, SANE, Orygen Health, and Spectrum.
Dr Takeshima and Dr Chiba also met with Dr. Karleen Edwards, Executive Director, Mental Health and Drugs Division, Department of Health, as well as spending time with Dr Eugen Koh, Director, Cunningham Dax collection.
An important dinner was also held at the University of Melbourne, to celebrate the signing of the MoU. Speaking at the dinner, the Cato Chair of Psychiatry Professor Ian Everall, and AAMH Chairman, Professor David Castle, spoke of the strong relationship between Japan and Australia in community mental health, and the opportunities this MoU will create for a sustainable partnership.
Australia-Japan Health and Welfare Cooperation
Japan is at a crucial point in Mental Health Reform as it moves towards a more community based model. An action plan developed by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) aims to cut the number of psychiatric inpatients from 330,000 to 260,000.
AAMH has supported Japanese mental health reform since 2004 (read more) by hosting groups of key mental health system stakeholders on fact-finding trips to Melbourne. Delegates on these trips have focused on learning how the Australian mental health system utilises partnerships between governments, hospitals, universities and non-government organisations to deliver community mental health services.
In January 2008, A/Prof. Chee Ng was again invited toJapan to undertake a comprehensive review of their community mental health services. A/Prof. Ng's visit was supported by a Japanese Government Fellowship through the MHLW's Health and Labour Science Research Program. His report can be viewed on the the National Centre of Neurology and Psychiatry's website in Japanese or English.
Most recently, Dr Takeshima, Director, Department of Mental Health Administration Studies, National Institute of Mental Health, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, Japan undertook a 3 day visit to Australia organised by AAMH from 21-23 January, 2009. Read more
Japan is also a key participant in the Asia-Pacific Community Mental Health Development Project.
A/Prof. Chee Ng (2nd from left) with Dr Tadashi Takeshima (far right), Director, Department of Mental Health Administration Studies, National Institute of Mental Health, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry and colleagues in Japan
A/Prof. Chee Ng with Dr Takeshi Samejima, President of Samejima Hospital, Head of the Private Hospital Owner's Association of Japan
View a list of the delegation members from Japan that AAMH has hosted.