Asia Pacific Art and Mental Health Network
The Asia Pacific Art and Mental Health Symposium was established for two reasons: to bring together art and mental health leaders from the Asia Pacific region to share experiences and ideas about the role art can play in the promotion of mental health; and to provide the foundations for the establishment of an Asia Pacific Art and Mental Health Network which will inspire and facilitate cross-cultural engagement, dialogue and exchange between art and mental health services and their respective communities.
Initiated by the Dax Centre and Asia Australia Mental Health (AAMH), the idea for the symposium grew out of the Asia Pacific Community Mental Health Development Project (APCMHDP) Network, which has been working collaboratively with mental health leaders from 19 countries and regions to promote the building of community mental health in the region over the past seven years. The development of a distinct network of art and mental health leaders was considered a valuable adjunct to the existing network, providing a broader means through which approaches to community mental health could be explored.
Consequently, the inaugural Art and Mental Health symposium was organised to coincide with the APCMHDP Network’s 2011 conference in Melbourne, bringing together local and international mental health government officials, chief psychiatrists, researchers, art and mental health practitioners and organisations.
Download the inaugural report on the outcomes of the Art and Mental Health network meeting.
Speaker presentations included:
♣ Australia: Keynote Lecture: “Art in Mental Health – opportunities for mental health promotion and overcoming stigma”, Dr Eugen Koh, Director, The Dax Centre, Australia
♣ China: “Predicament of the Raw Art of people with mental illness in China”, Mr Guo Haiping, Director, Nanjing Natural Art Centre, China
♣ India: “Art and Mental Health: The Different Interfaces”, Dr Debasis Bhattacharya, Consultant Psychiatrist, India
♣ Indonesia: “Indonesia Community Care for Schizophrenia – Art Activities”, Mr Bagus Utomo, Chairman, Komunitas Peduli Skizofrenia Indonesia, Indonesia
♣ Japan: Dr Tadashi Takeshima, Director, National Centre for Neuroscience and Psychiatry, Japan
♣ Korea: “Art and Mental Health”, Prof Mee Yoo, Professor of Art Therapy, Gyeonggi Provincial Mental Health Centre, Korea
♣ Taiwan: “Art Therapy in Taiwan”, Ms Shu Jen Lu, Art Therapist, University of Taitung Counseling Centre, Taiwan
♣ Thailand: “Art in Mental Health in Thailand”, Mr Anupan Pluckpankhajee, Director, Therapeutikum Thailand, Thailand
Where the use of art in the context of mental health was more widely recognized in some countries than others, a common thread that ran through all presentations was that art, as a visual medium, has the potential to transcend many boundaries, not least the stigma that often surrounds mental illness.