Plenary Speakers
Prof Tsuyoshi Akiyama
President, Japanese Society for the Elimination of Barriers to Mental Health Director of Departments of Neuropsychiatry and Psychosomatic Medicine, NTT Medical Center Tokyo, Japan

Dr Tsuyoshi Akiyama is director of the department of psychiatry, psychosomatic medicine and quality improvement at the NTT Medical Center Tokyo and clinical professor in the department of psychiatry at Tokyo University in Tokyo, Japan. Dr Akiyama is president of the Japanese Society for the Elimination of Barriers to Mental Health, vice president of the Japanese Association of Transcultural Psychiatry, secretary general of the Pacific Rim College of Psychiatrists and chair of the International Committee of the Japanese Society of Psychiatry and Neurology. In the past Dr. Akiyama served as secretary for finances of the World Psychiatric Association, and the board member of the World Federation of Mental Health, the World Association of Cultural Psychiatry and the Japanese Society of Psychiatry and Neurology. He holds an MD and a PhD in philosophy from Tokyo University. Dr Akiyama has been a speaker and presenter at numerous conferences in Japan and the world. He is the author of 200 journal articles, book chapters and abstracts in both Japanese and English. Dr Akiyama’s research is focused on preventive psychiatry, anti-stigma, disaster psychiatry, transcultural psychiatry and clinical psychiatry.

Dr Michelle Blanchard
Deputy CEO - SANE Australia and Director, Anne Deveson Research Centre

Dr Michelle Blanchard is the Deputy CEO at SANE Australia and the Founding Director of SANE’s Anne Deveson Research Centre. In partnership with researchers from the ADRC and the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences at the University of Melbourne, Michelle is leading the development of a National Stigma Report Card to help drive social outcomes for Australians affected by complex mental health conditions.

Ms Elizabeth Barnes
Community Leadership Manager, Time to Change Global, United Kingdom

Elizabeth is the Community Leadership Manager at Time to Change Global. She is responsible for supporting NGO partners and lived experience leaders across the programme to implement culturally relevant, mental health anti-stigma projects in their communities. She has professional experience in both the international development and mental health sectors in the UK, Ghana and India. Elizabeth holds postgraduate qualifications in International Development and International Psychosocial Intervention.

Ms Johanne Bratbo
Project Manager, One of Us, Denmark
Ms Sue Baker
OBE, Global Director Time to Change

Sue has worked to de-stigmatise mental health for almost 25 years in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and now globally. She set up the Time to Change campaign in England in 2007 that has led to a “sea change” in public attitudes in England and reductions in discrimination. She advises governments and NGOs on social change programmes aimed at improving public attitudes, reducing discrimination and empowering people to lead change, and now leads a new global anti-stigma programme working with NGOs and people with lived experience in Africa and India. She was awarded an OBE for services to mental health in 2016.

Prof Eric Chen
Co-Chair, Mind HK Head, Department of Psychiatry, University of Hong Kong

Eric Chen is the Chi-Li Pao Foundation Chair Professor and Head in the Department of Psychiatry at The University of Hong Kong. He has been leading one of the first early psychosis intervention programs in Asia (the Hong Kong EASY programme). Eric and his team have been conducting long-term studies for early intervention as well as randomised control studies for relapse prevention, psychological, and exercise intervention. Eric was a recipient of the Richard Wyatt Award from the International Early Psychosis Association (IEPA). Eric had served as Vice-President of the International Early Psychosis Association and the Foundation Chairman of the Asian Network for Early Psychosis (ANEP).

Dr Christopher Cheok
President, Singapore Psychiatric Association, Senior Consultant, Department of Forensic Psychiatry, Institute of Mental Health

Dr Christopher Cheok is a senior consultant with the Department of Forensic Psychiatry at the Institute of Mental Health. He is also a visiting consultant with the Singapore Armed Forces and a member of the medical board of the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore. During his career with the Singapore Armed Forces, Dr Cheok was the Head of the Psychological Care Centre. He has served in peacekeeping missions in East Timor and in humanitarian relief mission during the Asian Tsunami.

Dr Jamie Chiu
Clinical Psychologist, Founder, Good Brain Labs and The Brightly Project, Hong Kong SAR China

Dr Jamie Chiu, clinical psychologist and founder of The Brightly Project, is driven by one goal – that no student’s first contact with support should be because of a suicide attempt. As a teen, Jamie struggled with depression and anxiety, but fell through the cracks because she showed no visible signs — and so now she builds tools that make mental health more measurable, helps schools “know early” which students are at risk, and creates resources that support youth during overwhelming and anxious times feel capable and hopeful. Jamie has been recognised as a Forbes 30 Under 30 for creating a video game that can detect non-obvious signs of depression, was selected as one of Real Leaders 100 most visionary young leaders in the world, won Gold at the 2018 Hong Kong ICT Awards for The Brightly Project’s digital suicide prevention program for schools called “Know My Students”, and in 2019 was chosen as one of Channel NewsAsia’s Champions of Change. Through The Brightly Project, Jamie is empowering schools and teachers to feel more confident, capable, and knowledgable in their efforts to proactively support students at risk of suicide.

Prof Chua Hong Choon
Chief Executive Officer, Institute of Mental Health, Singapore

Dr Chua Hong Choon is Chief Executive Officer of the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) and Deputy Group Chief Executive Officer (Clinical) of the National Healthcare Group (NHG) in Singapore.A psychiatrist by training, Dr Chua is also the Chairman of the national Residency Advisory Committee (RAC) for Psychiatry, and Adjunct Associate Professor at Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, Yong Loo Lin Medical School and Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine. Dr Chua has keen interests in the fields of public health, psychiatric epidemiology, depression and quality & safety in health care; and he was the first Patient Safety Officer at the Institute of Mental Health, where he developed programmes and initiatives to improve clinical quality and safeguard patient safety in mental healthcare.

Ms Chan Li Shan
Writer and Mental Health Advocate, Singapore

Chan Li Shan is Director of the Writing Center and Writing Residency Fellow at the Asian University for Women in Chittagong, Bangladesh. Prior to this, she was Writer-in-Residence at Sing Lit Station. Her educational background includes an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia, an MSc from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a BA(Hons) from the University of York.

In the field of mental health, Li Shan was instrumental in securing mental health public education funding for the National Council of Social Service. Recognised as ‘Most Promising Advocate’ at the Singapore Advocacy Awards in 2014, her memoir of mental illness ‘A Philosopher’s Madness’ was published in 2012. She was formerly Co-Chair of Voices of Experience, a mental health group formed under the auspices of IMH, consisting of peers, caregivers and professionals. She currently serves as a Board member of Silver Ribbon Singapore, a social service organisation promoting mental health awareness.

Dr Sarah Gordon
Ambassador, Like Minds, Like Mine; Service User Academic, University of Otago, Wellington, New Zealand

Sarah has spent the last twenty years working and advocating for an improved mental health sector and societal perceptions of mental health from the perspective of a peer with lived experience. She is currently the World of Difference programmes and group lead at the University of Otago, Wellington, NZ. Funded through the Like Minds, Like Mine programme, which is led by the Health Promotion Agency, our group has established breakthrough education and research programmes focused on ending discrimination; and promoting recovery, inclusion, and respect for the human rights of people who experience mental distress. These programmes are fully led in development, delivery and evaluation by experts with lived experience.

Ms Toni Groundwater
Social Movement Manager, See Me, Scotland

Toni Groundwater is the Social Movement Manager for See Me, Scotland’s national program to end mental health stigma and discrimination. Toni has been with See Me for the past two years and has been responsible for the volunteer strategy and to ensure safe and effective engagement of people with lived experience of mental health problems to lead the movement for change. Toni has been working in the social sector for over 12 years, with experience working with criminal justice, addictions, veterans, mental health and young people with a particular passion around social justice and achieving equity.

Ms Tina Hung
Deputy Chief Executive Officer, National Council of Social Service, Singapore

Tina Hung is the Deputy CEO at the National Council of Social Service.  She leads NCSS efforts for service planning, innovation and fund allocation to address service gaps for vulnerable populations. She is passionate about providing effective and user empowered solutions.

Since 2015, Tina has provided strategic leadership to pursue research and guide public education efforts to combat stigma and promote social inclusion for people with disability and persons with mental health conditions.

Prof Stanley Kutcher
Sun Life Financial Chair in Adolescent Mental Health Professor of Psychiatry, Dalhousie University, Canada

Dr Kutcher is an internationally-renowned expert in adolescent mental health and an  International leader in mental health research, advocacy, training, policy, and services innovation, from the IWK Health Centre and Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Internationally, he has been involved in mental health work in over 20 countries. One of his recent projects was leading the development of a national child and youth mental health framework for Canada: Evergreen. His focus was on knowledge transition pertaining to improving mental health literacy and mental health care in schools and primary care as well as the development, application and evaluation of electronic youth mental health engagement, self-care and personal health record.

Prof Kua Ee Heok
Tan Geok Yin Professor in Psychiatry and Neuroscience, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore Senior Consultant, Department of Psychological Medicine, National University Hospital

Kua Ee Heok is the Tan Geok Yin Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience at the National University of Singapore. He graduated as a doctor at University Malaya, and received psychiatry training at Oxford and geriatric psychiatry at Harvard. He is the previous Head, Department of Psychological Medicine at NUS, and CEO / Medical Director at the Institute of Mental Health, Singapore. A former President of Pacific-Rim College of Psychiatrists, he was Editor of Asia-Pacific Psychiatry Journal. With Norman Sartorius, they are Editors-in-Chief of the new 6-volume series on ‘Mental Health and Illness Worldwide’.

Ms Lyn Lee
Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer Royal Dutch Shell, Singapore

Lyn Lee is a Singapore-based Asian, female, global leader with an extensive 17-year track record in Shell. As the Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion for Royal Dutch Shell, Lyn champions the D&I priorities, focusing very much on accelerating the progress of gender balance in senior leadership and STEM roles, ethnicity and local national representation.

Along with her track record at work, Lyn is an individual with a lived experience of mental illness. She was diagnosed with Bipolar 2 about ten years ago, a mood disorder which she lived with undiagnosed through her teenage and early adult years until a series of major life events left her body in shut-down, and her unable to get out of bed one day. Her turning point was her diagnosis, followed by proper mental health management, medication and follow-up. With her understanding of her mood disorder, Lyn has established a lifestyle which embraces the three aspects of mental, emotional/spiritual and physical well-being. At her workplace, she feels blessed to have received necessary support and accommodation to balance her work and her mental health. With this perspective, she understands the potential for individuals to thrive in a workplace which is supportive. It is thus with great pride which she represents Shell as a company which embraces a diverse global workforce through building a strong culture of inclusion, respect and high-performance at Shell.

Ms Jo Loughran
Director, Time to Change

An experienced leader and strategic thinker with over 15 years of involvement in the UK charity sector, Jo is the Director at Time to Change, pulling on her specialist knowledge of behaviour change campaigns, mental health anti-stigma programmes, and lived experience leadership.

With her own personal experience of mental health problems which began in her teenage years, Jo is passionate about creating an environment where no-one has to feel isolated or ashamed to speak out.

Ms Amali Naik
Executive Director, Grameena Abyudaya Seva Samsthe

Amali is the Executive Director of Grameena Abyudaya Seva Samsthe (GASS) with over twenty five years of professional experience within the disability sector. Amali has led GASS in the implementation of numerous community mental health and development, women’s empowerment, child care and protection and elderly care projects. Currently, Amali oversees implementation of the Time to Change Global anti-stigma project in Bangalore rural district.


Amali holds a post graduate qualification in Sociology and Diploma in Counselling and sits on a number of professional committees. She has received numerous accolades for her incredible contribution to the sector.

Mr Micheal Pietrus
Director, Mental Health First Aid Canada and Opening Minds

Micheal is Director of the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s international award-winning anti-stigma initiative Opening Minds. He is also the Director of Mental Health First Aid Canada. Under Micheal’s leadership, the Commission launched Opening Minds, its anti-stigma/anti-discrimination initiative in 2009, which is the largest systematic effort to reduce the stigma of mental illness in Canadian history. He co-founded the Global Anti-stigma Alliance, which is composed of 16 international organisations working to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness.

Dr Laurianne Reinsborough
General Manager, Operations Health Promotion Agency/Te Hiringa Hauora (Like Minds, Like Mine), New Zealand

Laurianne Reinsborough is the General Manager, Operations for the Health Promotion Agency / Te Hiringa Hauora (HPA.) HPA is a Crown entity and one of its responsibilities is leading the Like Minds, Like Mine programme. Laurianne has an extensive background in operational management and has held senior positions in health, injury prevention and volunteer sectors. Laurianne is a board member on the eMental Health International Collaborative and has an MBA with expertise in marketing and communications and strategy development.