The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Digital Hub for Mental Health (‘the Digital Hub’) acts as the coordinating centre for mental health in APEC, which is made up of 21 member economies across the Asia Pacific region. The Digital Hub is hosted in Canada at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in partnership with the University of Alberta (UofA) and the Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety Treatments (CANMAT). The Digital Hub is a network of stakeholders representing researchers, healthcare providers, policy makers and people with lived and living experience (PWLE) from across the region with the goal of “strengthen[ing] the mental health and wellbeing of individuals and communities across the Asia Pacific region in support of economic growth”. The Digital Hub is led by an Executive Committee that includes Dr. Raymond Lam (Canada-UBC), Dr. Jill Murphy (Canada-UBC), Dr. Andrew Greenshaw (Canada-UofA), Dr. Erin Michalak (Canada-UBC), Dr. Chee Ng (Australia-University of Melbourne), and Dr. Arun Ravindran (Canada-CANMAT/ University of Toronto). 


The 2021-2030 Roadmap to Promote Mental Wellness in a Healthy Asia Pacific (‘the Roadmap’) was developed by the Digital Hub Health in collaboration with APEC member economies, and was endorsed by the APEC Life Sciences Innovation Forum (LSIF) in 2021. The Roadmap presents APEC’s strategic approach to supporting mental wellness in a post-COVID Asia Pacific from 2021 to 2030 through project implementation, strategic partnerships, and inclusive growth. A cross-cutting theme across all of the Digital Hub’s work, as outlined in the Roadmap, is a focus on harnessing the potential of digital technologies to support access to mental health promotion, prevention, screening and treatment. 

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusive Growth: Addressing Barriers to Access


An additional cross-cutting theme that guides the work of the APEC Digital Hub is equity, diversity and inclusive growth. We recognize the enormous potential of digital mental health technologies to increase access to mental health prevention, promotion, and care across the Asia Pacific region and globally. However we also understand that the digital divide and other barriers may impede access, especially among the most vulnerable populations. In the context of the pandemic, we have led research and knowledge exchange initiatives that seek to understand and address the challenges related to digital mental health equity and to identify strategies to address them. We have also convened an International Lived Experience Advisory Panel (I-LEAP) to ensure all of our work takes place in collaboration with people with lived and living experience from across the Asia Pacific region. 

Research and Innovation for Improved Access to Mental Health Support


The Digital Hub also undertakes research to promote improved availability of and access to digital mental health supports in the APEC region. For example, with funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the National Natural Sciences Foundation of China under the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases (GACD) mental health program, the Enhanced Measurement-Base Care Effectiveness Study is testing an implementation strategy to improve the use of a technology enhanced measurement-based care approach to depression management in Shanghai, China. We are also engaged with partners in Vietnam, Canada and Australia to adapt a previously-tested supported self-management depression intervention for delivery via the VMood app.


Finally, we were recently funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, under the GACD’s life course funding program, for a study that will co-design, with Vietnamese youth, a population-level app-based intervention to support mental health and well-being among secondary school students in Vietnam. 


The Digital Hub always welcomes new members and collaborators!


To learn more, contact Dr. Jill Murphy at: