AAMH’s long standing partnerships in China reached new heights in 2014 with high profile activities significantly furthering mental health research capacity for both nations.
Melbourne and Peking
On 1st April, the global first University of Melbourne and Peking University Centre for Psychiatry Research and Training was launched in Beijing by the University of Melbourne’s Vice Chancellor Professor Glyn Davis and Professor Ke Yang, Executive Vice-President, Peking University. The Centre will grow collaborative psychiatric research and build the research capacity of mental health professionals from both Australia and China. The Centre facilitates PhD student, faculty member and Post-Doctoral exchange for elite students and researchers from both universities.
In 2014, the Centre enrolled three PhD students and hosted a number of reciprocal visits from post-doctoral fellows and faculty members across key areas of psychiatric research including disaster mental health, women/children’s mental health, psychopharmacology and geriatric psychiatry.
Melbourne and Shenzhen
On 25th September, a memorandum of understanding was signed between the University of Melbourne and Shenzhen Health and Family Planning Commission, paving the way for new collaborative clinical research projects. At a time of significant expansion in mental health services for Shenzhen City, the MoU also provides the opportunity for Melbourne to contribute to Shenzhen’s mental health workforce capacity building program through a series of professional development programs tailored to all levels of Shenzhen’s mental health workforce.
Supporting people suffering from mental illnesses and disorders and their families is a universal challenge. High on many governments’ priority lists is finding ways to improve the quality of life of children and their families living with autism spectrum disorder.
In late September, a delegation from the University of Melbourne was invited to Shantou University to sign an MOU to further joint work in autism research and training.
Following the MoU signing and supported by the University of Melbourne’s Department of Psychiatry and Mindful, Shantou University Mental Health Centre and the Li Ka Shing Foundation, a two-day training program on Autism Spectrum Disorder was held in Shantou University Medical School 27-28 September. The training program was designed for teachers and psychiatrists who work with children on the autism spectrum and their parents and provided education and practical skills to improve their quality of life. Dr Sandra Radovini and Ms Frances Saunders delivered the program to over 160 participants from across Guangdong province
Professor Huang Qingjun, Director of Shantou University Mental Health Centre, Dr Frieda Law, Representative of Li Kang Sheng Foundation and Mr Qiu Changyi, President of Shantou Disabled Person’s Federation were also attendance and gave positive and encouraging feedback..
Professor Ian Everall was invited to visit Guangdong Mental Health Centre to consolidate the collaboration between our two organisations. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed to develop research protocols and a significant project which will work to analyse a large dataset of over 400,000 individuals living with psychosis in Guangdong.