Global Mental Health
Who We Are
The Global Mental Health (GMH) program is the global health arm of the Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, and is an active partner in the University’s global health strategy initiatives. It collaborates with international academic centres, non-governmental organizations and other local and regional agencies to build mental health research and treatment expertise around the world, increase public awareness of mental health issues and influence governmental policy.
GMH draws on the rich expertise and interests of Department members in its collaborations and also works actively to develop a culture of enthusiasm for global health work among trainees and young faculty. It works closely with the Office of Transformative Global Health at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, a teaching hospital affiliated with the Department.
A world in which good mental health is the public norm and access to quality psychiatric care is a societal priority.
- To promote collaborative mental health training and research between the U of T Psychiatry and international centres of learning and treatment.
- To build sustainable capacity for mental health care, training and research in areas of need world-wide.
Values and Guiding Principles
- Interdisciplinary, cross-sectorial, academic-community equitable collaboration and knowledge exchange, underpinned by respect, reciprocity, and mutual learning and enrichment
- Appreciation, understanding and accommodation of cultural diversity and socio-political realities, and recognition and inclusion of local expertise.
- Sustainability; new mental health systems and services are designed to subsist within the framework of existing socio-medical resources.
- Culturally safe, competent, & humble; anti-racist, anti-oppressive, de-colonizing approach
- Equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) embedded in all initiatives
Dr. Kenneth Fung is Staff Psychiatrist and Clinical Director of the Asian Initiative in Mental Health Program at the Toronto Western Hospital, University Health Network. He is Professor and Director of Global Mental Health with the Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto. His research, teaching, and clinical interest include both cultural psychiatry and psychotherapy, especially Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), CBT, and mindfulness, with projects and collaborations in China, Hong Kong, and South Korea. He conducts community-based research and projects in stigma, resilience, mental health promotion, trauma, caregivers for children with ASD, immigrant and refugee mental health, and pandemic response. He is the Block Co-coordinator of the Cultural Psychiatry Core Seminars for psychiatry residents, and the seminar co-lead and psychotherapy supervisor in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) at the University Health Network. He is also psychiatric consultant to the Hong Fook Mental Health Association.
Dr. Fung is the immediate Past President and co-chair of the Education Committee of the Society of the Study of Psychiatry and Culture, the immediate past chair of the Transcultural Section of the Canadian Psychiatric Association, and an active Board Member of the World Association for Cultural Psychiatry. For the Association of Contextual Behavioral Science (ACBS), he is a member of the Centering Science Pillar, Lead of the Asian Culture and CBS SIG, past Chair of the Ontario Chapter, Board of Director of the ACBS Foundation, and on the Editorial Board and EDI Committee of the Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science (JCBS). He is a past Chair and current officer as the Historian of the Federation of Chinese American and Chinese Canadian Medical Societies (FCMS). He is a Board Member of the Ontario Psychiatric Association.
He is recognized as a Distinguished Fellow of the Canadian Psychiatric Association, Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, and Fellow of Association of Contextual Behavioral Science (ACBS). His awards include the 2015 Social Responsibility Award from the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine; the 2016 American Psychiatric Association Foundation Award for Advancing Minority Health; the 2017 College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario Council Award; the 2018 Psychotherapy Award for Academic Excellence from University of Toronto; and the 2020 Colin Woolf Award For Sustained Excellence in Teaching; and the Canada 150 Medal. As a supporter of the arts, he is current Chair of the Board of Directors of the Little Pear Garden Dance Company.
Global Mental Health Advisory Group
Lisa Andermann, MPhil, MDCM, FRCPC, MPhil, MDCM, FRCPC is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto. She is Co-Chair of the Equity and Inclusion Council and Director, Toronto Addis Ababa Psychiatry Program (TAAPP).
In addition to her work at the Mount Sinai Ethnocultural ACT team, Dr. Andermann is a Consultant Psychiatrist at the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture (ICHA); and with the Northern Psychiatric Outreach Program (NPOP-C) providing outreach to remote communities on Baffin Island. Dr. Andermann co-edited a book entitled Refuge and Resilience: Promoting Resilience and Mental Health Among Refugees and Forced Migrants (Springer, 2014). She is a Board Member of the Society for the Study of Psychiatry and Culture (SSPC) and the World Association of Cultural Psychiatry (WACP). She has been awarded the Don Wasylenki Award for Social Responsibility in the Department of Psychiatry (2018), Amina Malko Award from the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture (2017) and Social Responsibility Award (PGME, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, 2015) for her work with underserved and marginalized populations.
Dr. Andermann has been developing postgraduate training dealing with issues of social responsibility, cultural psychiatry and global mental health. She is a co-founder of Cultural Psychiatry Day, which has expanded into an accredited national videoconference linking universities across Canada, and also a co-founder of Mindfest. For more information, please see: www.mindfest.ca.
She has been involved with the Toronto-Addis Ababa Psychiatry Program (TAAPP) since its inception, assisting in the development of the first psychiatry residency training program in Ethiopia. She was part of the 1st teaching trip in 2003. Since then, there have been over 44 teaching trips with teams of two U of T psychiatrists and one resident going to teach on-site for a month. Over 113 Ethiopian psychiatrists have been trained within the TAAPP partnership, a number of whom have gone on to start new departments of psychiatry around the country. The retention rate of in-country graduates is over 90%, leading to a critical mass of mental health professionals, although with a growing population of 115 million people the needs are still great. There is a Clinical Psychology Master’s program in the AAU Department of Psychiatry to facilitate the qualifying of mid-level MH workers to increase access to services. There are also 3 more psychiatry residency programs in Ethiopia now.
TAAPP has produced a workable, effective model for accelerating the creation of medical specialists in Ethiopia, embraced as a model collaboration by AAU, and providing the model for TAAAC - the Toronto Addis Ababa Academic Collaboration with 27 programs across 9 faculties at UofT involved in teaching at AAU. For more information please see: www.TAAAC.com.
Wendy Chow Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, is a registered social worker who obtained her Master of Social Work Degree from the University of Hong Kong. She was the first and the only program manager of Cultural Diverse Assertive Community Treatment Team and Mental Health Court Support Program at Sinai Health System since 1999.She has provided training to mental health professionals in Japan, China, and Ireland regarding the implementation and operation of assertive community treatment team since 2001. The program won the American Psychiatric Foundation Advancing Minority Mental Health Award 2007 and the Leading Practices Award presented by Ontario Hospital Association 2007.
Wendy was appointed as Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto in 2011 and as a Global Health Associate by The Peter A. Silverman Centre for International Health since 2008, acting as a preceptor of student placements, such as nursing students, social work students, occupational health students at various Universities in Ontario. She was also appointed as the mental health consultant for mental health professionals in Japan and Shenzhen, Xiangya China since 2000 and 2009 respectively. She has helped both countries to set up assertive community treatment teams.
Wendy is the principle author of the Cultural Competency Training Manual for Law and Mental Health Professionals, Multi-Family Psycho-Education Group for Assertive Community Treatment Clients and Families of Culturally Diverse Background: A Pilot Study, and Cultural Competent Assertive Community Treatment Team. She is the co-author of the one year outcome of Mount Sinai ACTT, Comparative study of two ACT Teams: Canada and Japan.
W.L. Alan Fung
Dr. Alan Fung has strong clinical and academic interests in the cultural and spiritual/religious dimensions of mental health care; global mental health; neuropsychiatry and genetics; shared/collaborative mental health care; mental health promotion; as well as medical humanities (including ethics, health professional education, interprofessional collaborations & education).
Dr. Fung currently serves as the Physician Lead of the Mount Sinai Hospital Wellness Centre - a community mental health program providing culturally-sensitive and language-specific mental health services to Chinese-speaking seniors and their caregivers. The Centre received a 2022 American Psychiatric Association Foundation Award for Advancing Minority Mental Health.
A member of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) Council on International Psychiatry and Global Health, Dr. Fung has numerous involvements with global mental health. He currently serves as the Chair of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA) Section on Religion, Spirituality and Psychiatry; the Vice-Chair of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) Caucus on Spirituality, Religion and Psychiatry; as well as an Advisory Board Member of the Conference on Medicine and Religion (USA). He served as Co-Chair of the Organizing Committee of the 2020 Virtual International Conference on Spirituality and Mental Health; and as Secretary of the Organizing Committee and Scientific Committee of the 2019 WPA International Congress in Spirituality and Psychiatry (Jerusalem, Israel in December 2019). He has also been serving on the Steering Committee of the APA Mental Health and Faith Community Partnership since 2014. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the APA.
Dr. Fung has also been involved in various international research studies (including clinical trials) on Huntington's Disease (HD) - including being the Toronto Site Principal Investigator for Enroll-HD - the world’s largest observational study for HD.
In Canada, Dr. Fung has been a founding member of the Working Group for the Promotion of Mental Health in Faith Communities, and has been significantly involved in endeavours promoting dialogues between mental health and spiritual care professionals, as well as in mental health promotion among faith communities. He has also served as Principal Investigator of research projects related to spirituality and mental health in the Christian and Muslim communities in Canada. He is a Research Professor at the Tyndale University in Toronto.
Dr. Ishrat Husain is a Clinician Scientist, Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Treatment Innovation in Mood Disorders and Lead of the Mood Disorders Service at CAMH, and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. Dr. Ishrat Husain was raised in Toronto and completed his medical degree at St George’s, University of London in the UK. He then completed postgraduate speciality training in adult psychiatry at the world-renowned South London and Maudsley training scheme. He moved back home to Toronto in January 2018 as Clinician Scientist at CAMH and Assistant Professor at the Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto.
Dr. Husain also holds a visiting academic post at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London, Europe’s largest centre for research and postgraduate education in psychiatry, psychology, basic and clinical neuroscience and a centre for academic excellence. He completed his research doctorate here, collaborating with world leading academics in the field of mood disorders to investigate novel treatments for unipolar and bipolar depression. Dr. Husain has established academic links with centres in Canada, the UK, Africa and South Asia. He has a strong interest in Global Mental Health and is involved in capacity building and training of mental health practitioners in low and middle-income countries. He has published several articles in peer-reviewed journals and is actively involved in undergraduate and postgraduate training. Dr. Husain has been awarded research grants from organizations including the PSI Foundation and the Stanley Medical Research Institute (SMRI).
Dr. Husain's research program focusses on treatment innovation in mood disorders across populations through biomarker-driven clinical trials of emerging pharmacological and psychosocial interventions. His portfolio of global mental health research includes multiple large clinical trials of novel pharmacotherapies and culturally-adapted psychosocial interventions for major depressive disorder and bipolar disorders in low-resource settings
Dr. Samuel Law, MDCM, MPH, FRCP(C) is an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto’s Department of Psychiatry. His research interests are in cross-cultural issues in psychiatry, including cross-cultural health systems studies, health economics, and knowledge translation in service delivery models. As the Lead of the Department's China Initiative, he is also involved in liaising and developing research and educational exchanges with Chinese counterparts. His clinical work is mainly in community-based care, with emphases in Assertive Community Treatment, and clinical consultations to ethnic minority populations.
Dr. Anthony Maher is a resident physician (PGY-4) in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. He holds an MD from Memorial University of Newfoundland and studied law at McGill University. He also holds an MSc in Global Governance and Diplomacy from the University of Oxford, where he conducted research on the barriers to global action on non-communicable diseases. He remains an active research affiliate with the Edinburgh-based Global Health Governance Programme. He completed his undergraduate degree in international studies and modern languages at the University of Ottawa. He is a past recipient of the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame Award. He has a broad range of clinical interests, including psychotherapy, occupational medicine, ambulatory care and medical psychiatry.
Dr. Farooq Naeem is a professor at the University of Toronto’s Department of Psychiatry. He trained in Psychiatry in Merseyside training scheme in Liverpool, England. He completed MSc in Research Methods in Health and later a PhD from the Southampton University, Southampton, England. He also received training in Lean thinking and in quality improvement in England. He is also a Cognitive Behaviour Therapist. In addition to CBT for common mental health disorders, he received training in CBT for psychosis from Professor David Kingdon while working as his lecturer during training.
Dr. Naeem pioneered techniques for culturally adapting CBT. These techniques were used to adapt CBT for a variety of common and severe mental health problems in South Asia, North Africa, Middle East and China. He has conducted nearly 20 RCTs along with colleagues from Southampton and Manchester Universities in England. He is considered a leader in global mental health and has a keen interest in health systems. He has worked as an expert in Lean Thinking and Quality Improvement in England, Canada and in some low and middle income countries. Dr. Naeem has written 6 books and numerous book chapters. He has published more than 150 papers in peer reviewed journals. He has presented his work in numerous conferences and has conducted many workshops on CBT, especially CBT for psychosis globally.
Dr. Naeem’s areas of research include CBT, Psychosis and Culture with an overall aim to improve access to CBT. He has also published on issues related to health services and quality improvement. He works with a team of IT experts and has developed a CBT based therapy program that can be delivered through web and smart phone apps,” eGuru”.
Dr. Clare Pain is an Associate Professor at the Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Director of the Psychological Trauma Program at Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto. In 2003 she became the co-project director of the Toronto Addis Ababa Psychiatry Project (TAAPP) http://www.utoronto.ca/ethiopia through which the Department of Psychiatry at UofT assists build capacity and sustainability in the first residency program in Ethiopia. In 2008 due to the success of TAAAC, Addis Ababa University negotiated with UofT through Sarita Verma then Graduate Program Director, an extension of this program known as the Toronto-Addis Ababa Academic Collaboration (TAAAC) http://www.taaac.ca TAAAC is growing and currently has over 14 individual partnerships in 6 different faculties at UofT. Through these educational partnerships volunteer faculty travel to Addis Ababa University to teach for one month three times a year. By effectively strengthening the training of medical subspecialists, Masters and PhD graduates numbers increase and a critical mass of health and human resources for service expansion, delivery, and training results.
Dr. Daisy Singla is a clinical psychologist by training and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. In July, she also became the first womenmind scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. To date, Dr. Singla has led or contributed to large clinical trials focused on improving child growth, health and development, as well as reducing maternal depression worldwide. She has collaborated with global mental health leaders and local NGOs in rural Uganda, Kenya, Bangladesh, Nepal, India and Pakistan. She now brings these innovative lessons to the United States and Canada. In 2018, she became the youngest recipient of a $13.1 (USD) Pragmatic Clinical Study Award which aims to scale up talk therapies for perinatal populations across North America. In 2021, she received the Janet Taylor Spence Award for Transformative Early Careers from American Psychological Science and Distinguished Scientific Award for an Early Career Contribution in Applied Psychology from the American Psychological Association (APA). In short, Dr. Singla aspires to increase access to evidence-based psychological treatments to enrich the lives of all women, their children and their families.
Dr. Arun Ravindran is a Clinician Scientist in the Campbell Family Mental Health Research Institute at CAMH. He is also a Staff Psychiatrist in Mood and Anxiety Services, for which he was the former Clinical Director and Chief. In the Department of Psychiatry, he is Full Professor in the division of Neuroscience & Clinical Translation, founding Emeritus Director of its Global Mental Health Program, and currently Advisor to the Chair on Global Mental Health. He is a Full Member at the Institute of Medical Sciences, University of Toronto.
Dr. Ravindran’s clinical and research interests are in mood and anxiety disorders, in particular the neurobiology and therapeutics of these conditions. Dr. Ravindran has had a long-term interest in global mental health as well, having developed, evaluated, and implemented programs in several low- and middle-income countries in Asia and Central America. These have focused on improving mental health knowledge and wellbeing, reducing stigma, and building clinical capacity.
Dr. Ravindran was nominated by the Web of Science - Clarivate to be in the top 1% of cited researchers in Psychiatry and Psychology, and across fields (2020 and 2021).
Dr. Siqi Xue is a final-year Psychiatry resident physician at the University of Toronto, where she also obtained her medical training and an Honours BSc degree in Global Health and Microbiology. She is currently completing a MSc degree in Global Mental Health jointly offered at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and King's College London. Her research interests include severe mental illnesses in low- and middle-income countries with a regional focus on Asia, and the intersecting space of mental health, social medicine, and planetary health. Dr. Xue is a contributor to the Lancet Psychiatry Commission on Global Psychoses and the WHO report on climate change and healthy ageing. Prior to medicine, she worked in the non-profit sector at Grand Challenges Canada and the Namibian Women's Health Network.