Closing the mental health treatment gap in China

Asia Australia Mental Health is working with Professor Jia, the Director of the Guangdong Mental Health Institute to provide specialist training to 70 community mental health doctors from across the Guangdong province.

In China, there are approximately 20,000 psychiatrists for a population of 1.4 billion. From an estimated 173 million people in China suffering from mental disorders, an astounding 92% (158 million) are without access to any form of treatment or mental health care at all.

The gap in mental health treatment is being addressed. The Chinese Government has recognised the need to build a sufficient mental health care workforce. Brokering an effective partnership between community health and hospital workers will be key to addressing the challenge of expanded mental health care in China.

Asia Australia Mental Health (AAMH) a consortium of University of Melbourne’s Department of Psychiatry and Asialink, and St Vincent’s Mental Health is working with Professor Jia, the Director of the Guangdong Mental Health Institute to provide specialist training to 70 community mental health doctors from across the Guangdong province. The program brings together primary care workers and mental health professionals, focusing on how they can effectively collaborate to provide integrated care for people with mental illness in their communities.

“This week’s training program aimed at improving the mental health knowledge of community doctors will expand Guangdong province’s ability to reach so many more of our people who require mental health care” – Prof. Jia, Guangdong Mental Health Institute

The training faculty from Melbourne exemplify the model of collaboration necessary for effective multidisciplinary integration, bringing together expertise from the Departments of Psychiatry and General Practice at the University of Melbourne’s Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, and St Vincent’s Mental Health.

“As a psychiatrist working in Australia, I am very aware that the success of our mental health system relies squarely on partnerships with primary care doctors and other mental health clinicians working in the community.” – Prof. Chee Ng, Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne

“We are privileged to be working alongside our long term collaborators from Guangdong Mental Health Centre to share our experience and bring our joint expertise and knowledge to this training program” - Bridget Organ, St Vincent’s Hospital Australia

The collaboration with Guangdong Mental Health Institute is now in its seventh year with annual training programs and joint research projects.

More Information

Yue Li

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