APEC Digital Hub
Over 450 million people worldwide currently suffer from mental or neurological disorders while one in four individuals is affected at some point in his or her life.
This week, global efforts to address this challenge are put into the spotlight as APEC Executive Director Alan Bollard joins World Bank President Jim Yong Kim and World Health Organization Director-General Margaret Chan at the World Bank Headquarters in Washington DC, USA, to call for making mental wellness a global development priority.
In November 2014, APEC Economic Leaders recognized the importance of mental well-being. Less than two years later, a key initiative called the APEC Digital Hub is under development. The hub is a digital portal of best and innovative practices to prevent and treat mental illness, as well as recovery strategies. The APEC Digital Hub will serve as the forum’s focal point in advancing these goals and will aid in virtual and onsite training.
“Never before has the Asia-Pacific set forth a regional platform to facilitate inter-governmental and public-private collaboration to strengthen mental health across such diverse economies,” said Dr. Raymond Lam, executive director of the APEC Digital Hub. “It is truly unprecedented.”
Established at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, the hub’s host institution is managed by a consortium of partners. This consortium includes the Mood Disorders Society of Canada and University of Alberta.
“We are very proud to serve as the host institution for the hub,” Lam continues. “Preparations are well underway for its unveiling this year.”
“This is a terrific step forward in Canadian leadership with APEC to address one the greatest challenges confronting the Asia-Pacific,” says Phil Upshall, executive director of the Mood Disorders Society of Canada. “We have a historic opportunity to share our expertise, help people across the region, and benefit from the facilitation of international partnerships.”