February 24, 2012

Mental Health Leadership Collaborative Begins at Yale

Sang Hee Park, Yale MPH,
Class of 2013

At the beginning of this year, Yale began a new endeavor to further collaborations with universities around the globe. The GHLI led these efforts with the newly created Yale GHLI-Fudan Mental Health Program. Faculty from Yale’s Schools of Medicine and Public Health and a cohort of physicians and professors from several universities in China, accompanied by student ambassadors from Yale colleges and graduate schools gathered on the Yale campus as part of the initiative to improve the Chinese mental health care system.

Despite the long travel time and the time difference, the Chinese participants were engaged and active starting from day one. It’s easy to assume that considering the participant’s careers as lecturers rather than students and the achievements they have already made, that they would have less willingness to be “trained” by other people – but not so. Their aspirations to learn ways to better their system were evident during lectures, site visits and individual work sessions, engaging in endless thought-provoking questions and proactive discussions. Throughout the program, the director and staff of the program continuously brainstormed on how to make the remaining days even more effective.

By the end of the third week, the participants had formed professional and lasting relationships among themselves as well as with the professors at Yale and directors of the healthcare settings visited. A director from one site visit even drove over an hour to attend the farewell dinner in New Haven and give each participant a CD with photos from the visit as a gift.

Because this was the program’s first year, there was much excitement and a bit of nervousness during the preparations, and I was not too sure what to expect. But now, after a successful three weeks, I am excited to see how the participants will be able to utilize what they have learned to improve leadership and management skills and challenges they face in the Chinese mental health care system would unfold in the next years!

*Site Visits included: Yale New Haven Psychiatric Hospital, Program for Recovery and Community Health, VA Connecticut Healthcare System West Haven Campus, Institute of Living, Connecticut Mental Health Center, and Connecticut Valley Hospital.

To read more about GHLI's partnerships in china, click here.


  1. The Yale GHLI-Fudan program allowed colleagues from both the U.S. and China to share problem solving methodologies, strategic planning, leadership, research methods, ideas on organizing community programs, ways to consolidate resources to provide clinical care, and how to operate a state-of-the-art facility to care for persons with mental illness. But, I believe the most important thing we learned during our 13-days together was what education is, and how education influences generations and generations. Through site visits to psychiatric facilities in New Haven and around the state we understood how much the university and academics appreciate knowledge; in front of the statue of Mr. Elihu Yale, we realized how we live on in the spirit of the founder and ancient wisdoms; while listening to the classic music and enjoying the family atmosphere at the Master’s house at Branford College, we learned how the college life instills family values into each student’s life; and taking classes at Silliman College and presenting at the Hall of Graduate Studies, we felt the pride of being a Yale student, faculty and staff member.

    Education is the experience and the journey, during which we not only equip ourselves with better technologies and more knowledge, but also more importantly, to understand how to cultivate culture, to influence one’s life, and to live on the impact generation by generation. A total of 13 days is not long, but the experience is rich enough for us to understand how the best liberal-arts university in the world provides education and changes one’s life.

    Yu Liu
    Program Manager, Yale GHLI

  2. Very interesting. Hope to be reading more from this.

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  3. That is just awesome thing to share here. I am new to your blog but loving your writing skills and travel adventures. Some very vital things to bear in mind while traveling. thanks for sharing.