The Digital Hub is hosted in Canada at the University of British Columbia (UBC), in collaboration with the University of Alberta (UA) and the Mood Disorders Society of Canada (MDSC). Core partners across the Asia-Pacific region support and contribute to the activities of the Digital Hub.

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is a regional economic forum established in 1989 to leverage the growing interdependence of the Asia-Pacific. APEC's 21 members aim to create greater prosperity for the people of the region by promoting balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative and secure growth and by accelerating regional economic integration.

View our Core Partners

Economic Impact

The economic impact of mental health cannot be overstated: recent estimates*Bloom, D.E., Cafiero, E.T., Jané-Llopis, E., Abrahams-Gessel, S., Bloom, L.R., Fathima, S., Feigl, A.B., Gaziano, T., Mowafi, M., Pandya, A., Prettner, K., Rosenberg, L., Seligman, B., Stein, A.Z., & Weinstein, C. (2011). The Global Economic Burden of Noncommunicable Diseases. Geneva: World Economic Forum. put the annual global cost of mental illness at nearly USD 2.5 trillion--just under half the total global expenditures on health. These costs are projected increase to USD 6 trillion by the year 2030. Unlike other major disease groups such as cardiovascular disease and cancer, the majority of this economic burden results not from the direct costs of treatment and care, but rather indirect costs such as lost income from unemployment, lost productivity, and the increased use of social and other health services that results when mental illness is under-diagnosed and under-treated*Insel TR. Assessing the economic costs of serious mental illness. American Journal of Psychiatry. 2008 Jun 1..

In addition to improving the quality of life and well-being of individuals and communities, smart, innovative investments in mental health have the potential to reduce the staggering burden of mental illness, with returns in work productivity, social participation, and lowered health care and other costs. It's clear that failing to invest in mental health costs us all--and that pursuing opportunities for scientific, technological, and social innovations in mental health are critical to ensure healthy and prosperous communities.


Our mission is to strengthen the mental health and well-being of individuals and communities across the Asia-Pacific in support of sustainable economic growth.

The Digital Hub for Mental Health will foster awareness, share information and experiences, build capacity and scale up, and promote innovative research and evaluation.

We will create and promote multi-stakeholder collaborations and public-private partnerships that strengthen these activities to meet the needs of individual APEC member economies and the people they represent.


APEC's approach to the challenges and opportunities in mental health prioritizes multi-sector collaborations and international best practices.

We need to ensure that political leaders, institutions, businesses and the public recognize the importance of strengthened and strategic investment in mental health to support economic growth.

Digital Hub projects are organized around seven Mental Health Focus Areas, common areas of need and cooperation in which innovative projects and partnerships have the greatest potential for critical impact. Focus Areas were identified by APEC member economies through assessment of their national priorities in mental health and are summarized in the APEC Report on Strategic Needs in Mental Health.

Download the APEC Report on Strategic Needs in Mental Health


The APEC Digital Hub for Mental Health has the support of the highest level of APEC, having been officially endorsed by Foreign and Trade Ministers in November 2015 as a critical component of the successful implementation of the APEC Roadmap to Promote Mental Wellness in a Healthy Asia-Pacific (2014-2020) (the Roadmap). APEC's strategic plan to address the mental health challenges faced by APEC economies, the Roadmap was officially adopted by APEC Ministers in 2014 and complements the World Health Organization’s Mental Health Action Plan (the WHO Action Plan) and its 2020 timeline.

APEC shares the WHO Action Plan’s vision of a world in which mental health is valued, promoted and protected throughout the life course; mental health disorders are prevented when possible; people with mental illness are free from discrimination and stigma; and all have rapid access to high quality, culturally-appropriate mental health and social care.

APEC recognizes that success in this effort will enable millions of the region’s citizens to improve their overall health while participating fully in society and at work. Falling short of this vision is a threat to the Asia Pacific region’s economic growth, efficiency and sustained prosperity.

Download the APEC Roadmap to Promote Mental Wellness in a Healthy Asia-Pacific (2014-2020)


The APEC Digital Hub for Mental Health was established under the authority of the APEC Life Sciences Innovation Forum (LSIF) Executive Board. It is guided by a multi-stakeholder Advisory Board and managed by the Executive Director and Steering Committee.

Meet our Steering Committee:

Dr. Raymond W. Lam, MD

Executive Director, APEC Digital Hub
Professor and BC Leading Edge Chair in Depression;
Associate Head for Research, Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia;
Director, Mood Disorders Centre, Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health;
Executive Chair, Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety Treatments (CANMAT)

Dr. Raymond W. Lam is Professor and BC Leading Edge Chair in Depression in the Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia (UBC). In the UBC Department of Psychiatry, he is the Associate Head for Research, and the Residency Director of Scholarly Activity and Research Track. Dr. Lam is also Director of the Mood Disorders Centre at the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health in Vancouver. His research examines clinical and neurobiological factors in seasonal, treatment-resistant and workplace depression, clinical trials and guidelines, and e-MentalHealth. Dr. Lam is also a lead investigator for the Canadian Biomarker Integration Network in Depression (CAN-BIND). His research is supported by many agencies and sponsors including the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Dr. Lam has published over 400 scientific articles and book chapters (including almost 300 peer-reviewed papers), and edited or authored 11 books on depression; Google Scholar lists over 12,000 citations to his published work, with an h-index=62. He sits on the editorial boards of 10 international journals, including CNS Drugs and Chronobiology International. Dr. Lam is a champion for evidence-based medicine and is an editorial advisor for the international Cochrane Collaboration.

Dr. Lam has received many awards for his research and teaching, including the J.M. Cleghorn Award for Clinical Research (Canadian Psychiatric Association, 2015), a Distinguished Achievement Award for Overall Excellence (UBC Faculty of Medicine, 2014), R.O. Jones Memorial Award (Canadian Psychiatric Association, 2007), Silver Anniversary Leadership Award (UBC Medical Alumni, 2006), and the Douglas Utting Prize and Medal for Depression Research (SMBD-JGH/McGill University, 2001). He is an elected Distinguished Fellow of both the Canadian Psychiatric Association and the American Psychiatric Association, a Foundation Fellow of the International Society for Affective Disorders, and the Executive Chair of the Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety Treatments (CANMAT).

Dr. Andrew J. Greenshaw, PhD


Scientific Director, APEC Digital Hub
Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Neuroscience and Associate Chair for Research, Department of Psychiatry, University of Alberta

Dr. Andy Greenshaw is a Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience and the Associate Chair (Research) for the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Alberta. He recently returned to the Department of Psychiatry following two terms as Associate Vice-President (Research) for the University of Alberta. A member of the Department since 1986 and a Full Professor since 1996, Dr. Greenshaw is active in teaching and research and has been the recipient of a number of peer reviewed research awards from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research/MRC, Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research, the Canadian Psychiatric Research Foundation, the Alberta Mental Health Research Fund, the Alberta Centre for Child Family and Community Research and the Norlien Foundation. He is the author of numerous peer- reviewed research papers, reviews, chapters and books and continues to engage in research and to teach and supervise trainees in the area of motivation and emotion in the context of mental health.

He is co-Chair of the Alberta Addictions and Mental Health Research Partnership Committee and serves as a member of the Advisory Board of the CIHR Institute for Neuroscience, Mental Health and Addictions. Andy was a member of the Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation Board from 2008-2014 and, from 2007-2013, served as a member of the Board of Governors of the University of the Arctic, a university network of over 130 member institutions. One of his interests is sustainable capacity building and access to knowledge in indigenous communities. He is currently working with the CARPI and TRANSALC research teams at the University of Alberta, his current research interests are in the area of risk and adolescence, and youth and adult addiction – focusing on behavioral and functional neuroimaging studies. He was recently appointed to the Board of Our House, an Edmonton-based residential addictions treatment centre for men.

Mr. Phil Upshall


Financial Director, APEC Digital Hub
National Executive Director, Mood Disorders Society of Canada

Mr. Phil Upshall is past National Executive Director and current Senior Policy Advisor to the Mood Disorders Society of Canada. He is also:

  • Senior Policy Advisor to the CEO of the Mental Health Commission of Canada
  • Co-founder of the APEC Digital Hub for Best Practices in Mental Health
  • Co-founder and first Executive Director of the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH)
  • Co-founder of the Canadian Depression Research and Intervention Network (CDRIN)
  • A member of the International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership (IIMHL)
  • A past member of the Institute Advisory Board of the Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction, CIHR
  • A member of the PHAC Surveillance Advisory Committee on Mental Illness
  • A member of a number of expert panels for Stats Canada, Health Canada, CIHI and others.
Dr. Erin E. Michalak, PhD

Program Director, APEC Digital Hub
Professor, Mood Disorders Centre, Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia

Dr. Erin Michalak is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.  
Her background is in psychology, with a PhD awarded from the University of Wales College of Medicine in the United Kingdom. Her research expertise lies in knowledge translation, Community Based Participatory Research, bipolar disorder, quality of life, eHealth/mHealth and implementation science.
She is the founder and leader of the ‘Collaborative RESearch Team for the study of psychosocial issues in Bipolar Disorder’ (CREST.BD), a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) funded Canadian network dedicated to collaborative research and knowledge exchange in bipolar disorder. She has published over 100 scientific articles or book chapters and received over several million dollars in research in funding as a principal investigator.

Dr. Chee Ng, MD


Healthscope Chair of Psychiatry, Director of the Professorial Unit at The Melbourne Clinic, and Director of International Unit, Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne

Professor Chee Ng is the Healthscope Chair of Psychiatry, Director of the Professorial Unit at The Melbourne Clinic and Director of International Unit, Department of Psychiatry University of Melbourne based at St Vincent’s Mental Health.

He completed his medical degree (MBBS), Master of Medicine in Psychiatry and Doctor of Medicine in cross-cultural psychopharmacology at The University of Melbourne. He was awarded Fellowship of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists in 1998. He is currently also Co-Director of Asia-Australia Mental Health, Site Director of WHO Collaborating Centre in Mental Health (St Vincent's), and past Secretary General of the Pacific Rim College of Psychiatrists.

These positions reflect his wide areas of expertise, including pharmacogenetics, clinical psychopharmacology of depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, transcultural psychiatry, community mental health development and international mental health. He has also been an international mental health consultant for World Health Organisation, Commonwealth of Nations and ministries of health in several Asia-Pacific countries.

Advisory Board

The Advisory Board provides key strategic guidance and support for the Digital Hub's activities on behalf of the APEC LSIF Executive Board.

Engaging with a variety of Digital Hub stakeholders and end-users, including representatives from government, academic institutions, industry, and civil society, members of the Advisory Board help to identify, prioritize, and coordinate the Hub's activities to ensure they reflect the needs of individual APEC member economies as well as common, region-wide priorities.

The Advisory Board additionally provides oversight for Hub operations, promotes the Hub's efforts and achievements, and helps to forge new partnerships in the international community.