Mental health system development in Asia: Does Australia have a role?
journal contributionposted on 2016-09-01, 00:00 authored by K Arandjelovic, Harris Eyre, M P Forbes, Renee Bauer, Shilpa Aggarwal, Ajeet SinghAjeet Singh, B T Baune, I Everall, Michael BerkMichael Berk, C Ng
Background: Socioeconomic trends herald what many describe as the Asian Century, whereby Asian economic, political and cultural influence is in global ascendency. Broadening relevant ties between Australia and Asia is evident and logical and may include strengthening alliances in mental health systems. Aim: We argue the importance of strengthening Asian mental health systems and some of the roles Australian mental health workers could have in promoting strengthening the Asian mental health system. Methods: This paper is a narrative review which sources data from reputable search databases. Results: A well-articulated Australian strategy to support strengthening the mental health system in Asia is lacking. While there are active initiatives operating in this space, these remain fragmented and underdeveloped. Coordinated, collaborative and culturally respectful efforts to enhance health education, research, policy, leadership and development assistance are key opportunities. Conclusion: Psychiatrists and other mental health professionals have a unique opportunity to contribute to improved mental health outcomes in Asia.