Renewal of MOU between UBC Psychiatry and National Centres for Mental Disorders in China

Dear Colleagues,

I am very pleased to share some exciting news from our recent invitation to China, during which Clinical Professor and Island Regional Head Dr. Wei-Yi Song and I were hosted by leadership teams from Shanghai Mental Health Center (SMHC) at Jiao Tong University School of Medicine and the Changsha Second Xiangya Hospital at Central South University, in order to renew the existing Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) between the UBC Department of Psychiatry and these institutions for a further three-year period.

As you may recall, our original MOUs in China were established in 2019, and included Beijing Anding Hospital at Capital Medical University with whom our MOU is ongoing, in order to formalize our ties and thereby strengthen our academic partnerships with these leading mental health centres. Notably, these institutions with whom we have established MOUs (Beijing Anding Hospital, SMHC, and Changsha Second Xiangya Hospital) were selected as three among the only four National Centers for Mental Disorders in China following an intense peer-reviewed competition by the Chinese Government.

With the extension of our MOUs, we foresee renewed opportunities and exciting avenues to expand the Department’s research and educational networks in China. While the COVID-19 pandemic hampered efforts to exchange trainees and faculty members over the last three years, we have nevertheless pursued and maintained productive research collaborations with our Chinese partners, including the Enhanced Measurement-Based Care Effectiveness for Depression (EMBED) project, a large Canada-China team grant jointly funded by CIHR and the National Science Foundation of China to implement technology-enhanced measurement-based care for depression, led by co-PIs Dr. Raymond Lam and Prof. Jun Chen of SMHC.

In the months and years ahead, we will continue to strengthen our collaborative efforts in regards to research projects as well as exchange of visiting faculty and trainees between institutions, and fulfill a key strategic priority to leverage our partnerships around the world in order to foster knowledge exchange, expand our research capacity, and enhance the global presence and profile of the Department. These centres host digital platforms and have access to massive clinical and research resources which provide tremendous opportunities for the Department to collaborate. I look forward to sharing further updates with respect to these initiatives in the near future.

Should any residents or fellows be interested in undertaking training at one of the three institutions in China, or any faculty members be interested in a Visiting Professorship or pursuing research collaborative opportunities, please contact Dr. Sophia Frangou ( or Vicky Yau ( for more information.


Dr. Lakshmi N. Yatham, MBBS, FRCPC, MRCPsych (UK), MBA (Exec)                       
Professor and Head, UBC Department of Psychiatry
Director, Institute of Mental Health, UBC
Regional Head and Program Medical Director, VCH/PHC

The UBC Department of Psychiatry Administration Office respectfully acknowledges the land on which we live, work and play is the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of the Coast Salish Peoples, the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-waututh).