ASEAN Mental Health Taskforce

The ASEAN Strategic Framework for Health Development (2010-2015) was endorsed in 2010. In 2011, the ASEAN Secretariat invited Harry Minas of GCMH as well as WHO representatives to provide technical assistance as “key development partners”. The decision to establish an ASEAN Mental Health Taskforce (AMT) was made in 2010 and an initial work plan for the Taskforce was developed, which allocated responsibility to individual Member States for different elements of the work plan (see Appendix 5). The Chair of the Taskforce is Dr Apichai Mongkol, Director General of Mental Health, Ministry of Health, Thailand. The first annual meeting of the Taskforce was held in Hanoi, Vietnam in May 2012.

The goal of the Taskforce is to ensure access to adequate and affordable mental health treatment and care and psychosocial services, and to promote healthy lifestyles for the people of ASEAN Member States. The Taskforce provides a unique policy-relevant and policy-led opportunity to engage actively and share experiences to develop and evaluate current programs, develop strategies to integrate mental health into general health care, and to strengthen capacity of researchers and decision makers at individual and organisational levels.