The first formal collaboration between Asia-Australia Mental Health and China occurred through The Successful Ageing Project. This project aimed to further develop partnerships between key Australian and Chinese institutions and organisations involved in mental health care and health promotion for aged people. The project's vision was to exchange ideas, explore and develop culturally appropriate and acceptable models for the delivery of integrated community mental health care for aged people.
Following initial discussions with the Institute of Mental Health Peking University in February 2003, a workshop was held in Beijing from 13-14 October 2003. The Chinese participants included: Dr He Yanling, Shanghai Mental Health Center, Prof Huang Yueqin, National Center for Mental Health, China CDC, Prof Jiang Longhu, Shanghai Mental Health Center, Associate Prof Ma Hong, Institute of Mental Health, Peking University, Dr Yao Jianhong, Ministry of Health, Dr Yu Xin, Institute of Mental Health, Peking University and Dr Ziqing Zhu, Shanghai Mental Health Center. Australian participants in the workshop included: Prof. Ed Chiu, The University of Melbourne, A/Prof. Chee Ng and Ms Julia Fraser (Co-Directors of Asia-Australia Mental Health).
The content of the workshop was shaped equally by the Chinese and Australian working groups. The workshop resulted in a fruitful exchange of ideas and experiences about delivering community mental health care for aged people. It was agreed that further collaboration and development in the field of mental health would be highly beneficial for both countries.