Engagement around mental health

  • De-stigmatising mental health
  • Providing accessible resources
  • Signposting mental health support services for the Vietnamese-speaking community in Vietnam and around the world

Mental health, and mental health issues in hospital settings, have been an important focus for OUCRU’s Public and Community Engagement team since 2016.     

This focus was developed after we conducted a survey in 2016 at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases (HTD), one of OUCRU’s key partners in Vietnam. It found that 28% of healthcare workers had moderate to severe depression, and 38% had moderate to severe anxiety. The survey was conducted using the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS) screening tool.  

In response, and working with the HTD Social Work Department, we developed training and resources on the topic of stress management and communication skills. The purpose is to support healthcare workers to manage the psychological and social challenges of their work.  

In parallel, we began a series of hospital radio shows to provide enjoyment and light relief for patients, staff, and family carers at HTD.

The Youth Ambassadors programme, run by the Public and Community Engagement team, also links young people to medical research that impacts their lives and connects researchers to the health issues that young people care about. Our Youth Ambassadors have made resources for young people to de-stigmatise and find out more about mental health.  

Below, you can find a list of resources we have developed and translated from credible sources. We hope that these resources can make mental healthcare more accessible to healthcare workers and the public.  

Resources for healthcare workers 

This website for healthcare professionals in Vietnam contains materials and resources to support stress management and communication skills. 

CONNECT is an online network aimed at strengthening the capacity of healthcare workers and health researchers. It recognizes that health workers often work within challenging and stressful environments. The site contains training materials, discussion groups, articles, reports, and hosts webinars.  

Resources for the public  

This resource is a directory of services, enabling Vietnamese people (in Vietnam and overseas), and others living in Vietnam, to find services that can support their mental health needs. It is also intended as a resource for mental health professionals and service providers, enabling them to expand their networks and better support their users with details of other relevant services. Services listed in the directory include those that are available online and in-person, and in Vietnam and as well as overseas. You can read more about how and why we created this resource.

  • Podcasts and videos: a group of passionate young people and engagement practitioners at OUCRU have collaborated to create podcasts and short interviews, to raise awareness of mental health issues in Vietnamese young communities. 

  • Webinar Are you OK1-hour live stream with actress Ngọc Lan and Mr Nguyen Hong An, Head of Psychology Department, Hoa Sen University
  • Hospital Radio at Hospital for Tropical Diseases: series of 20-minute radio shows providing enjoyment and light relief for patients, staff, and family carers at HTD
  • Doing What Matters in Times of Stress: An Illustrated Guide: a guide of basic tools for everyone, published by the World Health Organisation and translated into Vietnamese by OUCRU.

The Covid-19 pandemic and mental health 

The Covid-19 pandemic devastated the world’s healthcare systems, and it also highlighted the important issue of mental health. Alongside our scientific contribution to pandemic response and future pandemic preparedness, OUCRU’s social science and engagement teams work to understand the impact on the mental health of healthcare workers and vulnerable communities at the pandemic ‘frontline’.  

Although these resources were developed in a pandemic context, we hope that they can be useful long-term, in contexts where mental health support is limited, and especially in low- and middle-income countries.

Please join the conversation on our social media channels. 

Please note: 

  • OUCRU is a medical science research institute and not a medical service provider. 
  • OUCRU’s medical research focuses on infectious diseases.