National Taskforce for Mental Health System Development Vietnam 


Project Details

The short- to medium-term expected outcomes for this project are:

  • Improved governance and enhanced participation in mental health policy and service development strategies for international and national Taskforce partners
  • Improved capacity of the Ministry of Health to use donor funds effectively as part of a coherent national strategy for development
  • Improved inter-sectoral (government, university, WHO, NGOs) collaboration and harmonisation of efforts
  • Sustained capacity of training in Leadership for Mental Health System Development in Vietnam
  • Increased development of mental health services in Vietnam

To achieve the outcomes, the project includes significant research, training and engagement components in the areas of workforce development and other aspects of mental health system strengthening, including the development and implementation of monitoring and evaluation strategies.

We have been involved in numerous activities to support the development of an effective mental health system. These activities include:

  • In-depth consultations and collaboration with key stakeholders
  • Provision of technical support to key Ministries for research, program development, policy development
  • Participation in key Ministry meetings
  • Emphasis on the need for such initiatives to be led by local Ministries (in partnership or with support from us)
  • Promoting inter-disciplinary and inter-sectoral linkages
  • Provision of leadership training both in Melbourne and in-country
  • Supporting site-visits when appropriate
  • Collaborative research and evaluation
  • Mobilisation of resources to maximise sustainability of the program of work

Project summary

We have been working consistently in Vietnam since 1994. In December 2009 we were awarded a 5-year, USD 2 million grant to establish a National Taskforce on Community Mental Health System Development in Vietnam (2010-2014). Modelled on the Centre's successful work in Indonesia, the Taskforce is being led by the Vietnam Ministry of Health (MoH) and aims to become the main impetus for mental health system reform and development in Vietnam. The primary goal of the Taskforce Project is to strengthen the capacity of the Ministry of Health and other counterpart organisations (as well as key stakeholders including other relevant Ministries such as Labour Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA), Finance, and Education and Training), to plan, design, and deliver effective, accessible and affordable community mental health and social services to the population of Vietnam. The long-term expected outcomes of the project are:

  • Strengthened management of community mental health services in Vietnam
  • Improved international networking for mental health system development in Vietnam
  • Improved quality of mental health services in primary health care system
  • Improved protection of human rights for people with mental illness
  • Improved mental health of population of Vietnam


Associate Professor Harry Minas

Dr Ritsuko Kakuma


Atlantic Philanthropies

Research Group

Global and Cultural Mental Health

Faculty Research Themes


School Research Themes

Prevention and management of non-communicable diseases (including cancer), and promotion of mental health

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

Centre for Mental Health

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