Collaborative research on mental health issues, from schizophrenia to disaster mental health, will be the focus of a new University of Melbourne and Peking University centre to be launched in Beijing today.

The University of Melbourne-Peking University Centre for Psychiatric Research and Training will bring together world experts from both institutions to study all aspects of mental health, from biological to epidemiological and psycho-social. 

It will also provide co-supervision of PhD students and support post-doctoral exchanges. 

The new centre is the culmination of a ten-year partnership on issues of mental health between the two universities, lead by Melbourne’s Department of Psychiatry, Asialink, Asia Australia Mental Health and the Peking University Institute of Mental Health.

Mental disorders make up approximately 13 per cent of the world’s disease burden and are one of the largest contributors to all diseases.  It is estimated that 173 million Chinese people suffer from a mental disorder, with 92 per cent having never received any type of treatment before 2004.

Over the past ten years, the two universities have collaborated closely, particularly in the national roll out of modern community mental health services across China through the so-called ‘686 Project’.  “This project is one of the largest mental health reform programs globally, delivering community psychiatric services covering a population of over 900 million people,” said Professor Ian Everall, Head of the Department of Psychiatry at Melbourne.

Professor Everall said the centre was an exciting step forward in the collaboration between the two institutions.  “The partnership has grown from clinical services to knowledge transfer and now, in this new venture, collaborative research.”

“Our aim over the next ten years is to have 50 PhD students jointly trained between Melbourne and Peking.  Our students will receive a greater understanding of the key mental health issues in Asia and conversely, students from Peking will have full access to the range of psychiatric research expertise Melbourne has to offer.”

Professor Yu Xin, Executive Director of the new Centre, said the partnership will be of great benefit to both Australia and China.

“Peking University Institute of Mental Health and The University of Melbourne's Department of Psychiatry have worked together for the past 10 years to support the successful national mental health policy, service delivery, as well as community-based psychosis management program in China.” 

“Building on this achievement, the establishment of the new Centre will respond to the increasing demand for psychiatry research and training in China and globally.  The Centre will enhance academic standing and research outcomes for both universities, and significantly increase the research and training capacity for PhD students from Australia and China.”

Prof Everall said they are keen to expand this work into research.  “We already have one PhD student coming to Melbourne who will be working on the genomics of schizophrenia, trying to identify the genetic markers to help the diagnosis of the disease.”

“We also have a post-doctorate fellow arriving this month who is reviewing the data of 1000 children born to Chinese mothers with schizophrenia.” 

 


 

中澳合作成立的心理健康中心启动

 

由墨尔本大学与北京大学联合成立的精神病学研究与训练中心,今日在北京启动。该中心将致力于两校对精神分裂症、灾难心理等多种心理健康议题的联合研究。

该中心将凝聚来自两所高校的世界级专家,在心理健康涉及的生物学、流行病学和社会心理等各个方面,进行科研合作。

此外,该中心还将开展两校的博士生联合培养项目,并为博士后的交换项目提供支持。

在墨尔本大学精神病学系、墨尔本亚洲联系中心、亚澳心理健康中心,及北京大学精神卫生研究所的领导下,两所高校已有长达十年的精神健康领域合作。新成立的精神病学研究与训练中心则将两校的长期协作推向至高点。

心理障碍不仅在世界疾病中占比约13%,也是诱发其他疾病的最重要因素之一。大约有1.73亿中国人存在心理障碍,其中92%从未接受过任何形式的治疗。

随着国家“686项目”展开的中国现代社区精神疾病管理与治疗,进一步强化了墨尔本大学与北京大学的协作。墨尔本大学精神病学系主任Ian Everall教授表示:“这一项目提供的社区精神疾病治疗惠及了9亿余人,是世界最大的精神健康改革项目之一。”

Everall教授说,该中心的建立是推进两校协作的可喜举措,“我们的合作已在临床治疗和知识传递中不断深化,如今,联合科研也将在新落成的精神病学研究与训练中心实现。”

“我们下一个十年的合作目标是联合培养50名博士生。墨大学生将接触到亚洲的心理健康重要议题,同时,这也为北大学生求教于墨大精神病学研究领域专家敞开了大门。”

新中心执行理事于欣教授表示,这一合作对中澳两国都大有裨益。

“北京大学精神卫生研究所和墨尔本大学精神病学系的十年合作,已贡献于国家成功的精神健康政策、医疗服务、以及中国立足于社区的精神疾病治疗管理项目。”

“在此成果基础上,新中心的成立将进一步满足中国乃至全球增长的精神病学研究与培训需求,并将提高两校学术地位,优化研究成果,增强中澳两国博士生的研究与训练能力。”

Everall教授说,墨尔本大学非常期待将合作传统延伸至研究领域。“一位(来自北京大学的)博士生已到达墨尔本大学,他将专注于精神分裂症的基因学研究,争取通过识别遗传标记助力该精神疾病的诊断。”

“另一名于本月(三月)抵达墨大的博士后,正对1000名有患精神分裂症母亲的中国儿童展开基因数据研究。”