International Mental Health Leadership Program (iMHLP)


 Imhlp2012The Centre recognises the fundamental role of leadership in the development and enhancement of mental health systems in LMICs (See About Us). Consequently, our Learning and Teaching activities place a significant emphasis on professional development of those working in the mental health sector in order to optimise their leadership capabilities.

The International Mental Health Leadership Program (iMHLP) was established in 2001 in collaboration with the Department of Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School. The goal of this 4-week program is to contribute to the development of effective mental health systems in LMIC’s through training and mentoring in leadership of those working in the mental health sector in those countries.

collage-200     The specific objectives of the iMHLP are to:

  • Improve population mental health in LMICs and in post-conflict and post-disaster settings
  • Reduce mental illness-related disability
  • Improve social and economic participation by people with mental disorders
  • Enhance human rights protections for people with mental disorders and
  • Reduce poverty that is related to mental disorders.


    The program provides an introduction to:

  • Mental health policy development and implementation
  • Mental health financing
  • Service design with a focus on community mental health services
  • Mental health workforce development
  • Advocacy and human rights
  • Mental health systems research
  • Knowledge Translation and Exchange




Quote from Ali about the iMHLP


Who is this program for?

The program is aimed at mental health professionals, managers and researchers of all disciplines who are in a position to contribute to the development of mental health systems that are effective,appropriate, accessible, and affordable, and that protect and enhance the human rights of people with mental

At the end of 4 weeks participants will be able to:
  • Assess current and future needs of the population for mental health services in the context of rapid socio-economic, cultural and epidemiological transitions;
  • Identify specific areas of reform that are required in their countries’ mental health systems;
  • Identify and enhance the economic and social resources that can be harnessed for development by building and leading partnerships and coalitions that drive and sustain development;
  • Articulate clear, practical goals for mental health development in their own contexts, analyse economic, social, and policy obstacles to development, and implement effective strategies for the development of mental health policies and services.

iMHLP Alumni Around the World

The iMHLP boasts alumni from 18 countries around the world. Look at the map below to see where our alumni come from!

A map of the iMHLP Alumni around the worldM.Z & C.T


Applications for the 2013 iMHLP are now closed.


This year the 2013 iMHLP will be held in Melbourne, Australia from October 14th-November 8th. 

This year's program and learning focus will centre around two overarching themes:


Theme 1: Why do we need a mental health and social support service system?

  • This part of the course will provide an overview of the challenges in international mental health reform and in particular will focus on the need  to coordinate mental health policy, legislation and financing. 
  • One of the specific topics of interest in this portion of the program will focus on Mental Health, Disability and the Social Determinants of Health

Theme 2: How do we develop, implement and evaluate an effective mental health and social support system?

  • Mental health services provided in the community results in better treatment outcomes and quality of life for individuals with chronic mental disorders. By shifting the care of patients from mental hospitals to community care, this can ultimately facilitate care that is cost-effective, help to ensure the respect of human rights, and limit stigma of receiving treatment and offer more readily available early interventions and care.
  • This thematic portion of the course will focus on the design of an integrated mental health and social support service system. The three main topic areas for the second half of the program will focus on Ethics and Human Rights, Building and Implementing a Mental Health and Social Support System, and Maintaining an Effective Mental Health and Social Support System.

Dr. Ritsuko Kakuma teaching a participants from the International Mental Health Leadership Program (iMHLP)

Tuition Fees


Australian Applicants: AUD 13,000 + 1430 (GST)

Overseas Applicants: AUD 13,000

  • please note that tuition fees does NOT include travel, accommodation or living expenses. In applying for the program you confirm that you will be responsible for meeting these expenses.
  • The tuition fee DOES include all teaching materials, lunch during teaching sessions days, welcome reception and welcome and farewell dinners.

For certain applicants, the centre may consider course fee waivers/discounts. However, there a limited number of these types of "scholarships" and decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis at the full discretion of GCMH.

 For more information about course fees and how to apply in the future please CONTACT US.

Please see our BROCHURE for more information about the 2013 iMHLP.


The Centre's Most Recent International Mental Health Leadership Program: iMHLP 2012


In 2012, for the first time since its inception, the iMHLP focused specifically on a particular country-Vietnam. GCMH hosted a 4-week intensive leadership program with 25 participants from the health and social services sector from Vietnam.


 big collage


 In particular, the program focused on mental health systems development in the context of two specific national programs in Vietnam:

  • National Taskforce for Community Mental Health System Development in Vietnam led by the Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the Centre

  • The Prime Ministerial Decision 1215/QD-Ttg Project, Community-based Assistance and Functional Rehabilitation for Mental Ill and Mentally Disordered Project, 2011-2015 led by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA).
The participants were nominated by the Ministry of Health and the MoLISA. The program enabled participants to engage in discussions directly related to both national programs, to form collaborative linkages and become immersed in topics ranging from international mental health policy, mental health workforce development, service design, human rights, and mental health services and policy research.

For questions or for more information about any aspect of the iMHLP we encourage you to contact us by sending us an E-MAIL.