As early as 1980, the beginning of the nation’s economic reform, Prof. Shen Yucun realized that learning from international colleagues is the most effective way for rapid development of psychiatry in China. Under her leadership, great progress has been made which increases not only our academic standards but also the visibility of the IMH. In 1980, collaboration was established between IMH and WHO. Subsequently, in 1982 the IMH was designated by WHO to be its Beijing Mental Health Collaborating Center for Research and Training. We have successfully hosted several international academic conferences, including the First International Conference of Morita Therapy (1995), the Regional Meeting of World Psychiatric Association (1997), the International Psychogeriatric Association-Beijing Joint Meeting (1999), the Collegium International Neuro-Psychopharmacologicum (CINP) Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting (2004), the First World Congress on Cultural Psychiatry (2006), the 26th World Congress of International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP, 2011), the 2nd and 5th BESETO Congress on Psychiatry (2013, 2016) and recently the International Psychogeriatric Association 2014 International meeting(2014).
The IMH has set up international collaboration with universities and NGOs worldwide, such as National Institute of Health, Harvard University, John Hopkins University, University of California at Los Angeles, USA; Oxford University, King’s College London, University of Manchester, UK; Technical University of Munich, Ulm University, Germany; University of Toronto, Canada; University of Melbourne, Australia etc. The solid friendship and collaborations developed during these activities has helped us to bridge with the international community and bring advanced information and technology to China. This friendship also brought the IMH valuable opportunities for collaboration and support. Now our employees have been given the opportunity to know the trend of development in psychiatry around the world. In turn, they can observe the current situation in China from an evolving perspective. “Is it not delightful to have friends coming from far away?” said Confucius thousands of years ago. “When I walk along with two others, they may serve me as my teachers”. This ancient wisdom has been the best annotation of our attitude toward international communication.