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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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’.
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.
Heather Stuart, is a Full Professor at Queen’s University where she holds the Bell Canada Mental Health and Anti-stigma Research Chair at Queen’s, is the Senior Consultant to the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s Opening Minds, Anti-stigma initiative and the past Chair and current Secretary of the WPA Stigma Section. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a recipient of the Order of Canada. Dr. Stuart’s research focuses on mental health services evaluation with a specific focus on the destigmatisation of mental illnesses.
Professor Norman Sartorius, MD, PhD, FRCPsych holds professorial appointments at several universities in Europe, the USA and elsewhere. He was the Director of the Mental Health Programme of the WHO, President of the World Psychiatric Association and of the European Psychiatric Association. He is currently President of the Association for the Improvement of Mental Health Programmes in Geneva. His main interests at present are problems related to comorbidity of mental and physical disorders, the fight against stigma and the education of psychiatrists.
John Saunders is the CEO of Shine, a national voluntary organisation Supporting those affected by mental ill health. He was a member of the Expert Group established in 2003, to review and update mental health service policy resulting in A Vision for Change and Chaired the last Monitoring Group for the Implementation of Vision for Change. He is currently Chair of the Mental Health Commission. John is also the Director of See Change, the National Stigma Reduction Partnership. See Change is Ireland’s national programme working to change minds about mental health problems in Ireland.
Dr Petr Winkler’s main expertise is in mental health service research, psychiatric epidemiology, research on stigma, mental health economics and suicide prevention. In the past few years, he has been involved in the development and implementation of the Czech mental health care reform. Currently, he is leading three nation-wide projects which are focused on de-stigmatisation, early detection & early interventions in psychoses, and strengthening a system for evidence-based mental health care development. Dr Winkler was awarded European Psychiatric Association research prize in 2017.