Dr. Phillips is a Canadian citizen who has been a permanent resident of China for 30 years. He received a BSc (psychology) from McGill University, an MD from McMaster University and an MA (anthropology) and MPH (epidemiology) from the University of Washington. He completed his psychiatry residency training at the University of Washington followed by a two-year Robert Wood Johnson Research Training Fellowship. He is currently Director of the Suicide Research and Prevention Center of the Shanghai Mental Health Center at Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Executive Director of the WHO Collaborating Center for Research and Training in Suicide Prevention at Beijing Hui Long Guan Hospital, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Epidemiology at Columbia University, advisor on mental health issues in China for the WHO, and co-chairperson for the Lancet Commission on Mental Health in China. Dr. Phillips is currently PI on a number of multi-center collaborative projects on suicide, depression and schizophrenia. He runs a number of research training courses each year, supervises Chinese and foreign graduate students, helps coordinate WHO mental health activities in China, promotes increased awareness of the importance of addressing China's suicide problem and advocates improving the quality, comprehensiveness and access to mental health services around the country. In 2013 he received the International Scientific and Technological Award of the People's Republic of China, the highest honor for scientific achievement awarded to foreign nationals by the Chinese government. In 2014 he received the Order of Canada.
Honors & Awards
Order of Canada
International Scientific and Technological Cooperation Award, State Council, People's Republic of China
Humanitarian Award, Society of Biological Psychiatry
Areas of Expertise
Select Global Activities
Characterizing cognition across the lifespan in untreated psychosis in China: I am one of three PIs for the NIMH RO-1 (No. 1R01MH108385-01) project titled "Characterizing cognition across the lifespan in untreated psychosis in China" funded by a $3 million dollar grant that started in early 2016. The project aims to recruit 400 persons with untreated psychosis in Ningxia Province (northwestern China) who are identified by community-based key informants as part of the community mental health program and compare their cognitive function with that of matched persons with psychosis who are taking antipsychotic medication and with matched normal controls. The project will run for five years, from 2015 to 2021.
Implementation research: Community intervention to prevent repeated suicide attempts in Ningxia China and Nunavut Canada: I am the Chinese PI on a 5-year China-Canada collaborative grant of the Chinese National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) that is part of the international Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases (GACD) series of grants on mental health (total funding approximately $2 million). This project will identify suicide attempters treated in emergency departments of all county-level hospitals in Ningxia Province, China and provide a brief intervention to prevent repeated suicidal behavior to a random sample of half of these individuals.
Phillips MR, Pearson V, Wang RW (eds). Psychiatric Rehabilitation in China: Models for Change in a Changing Society. Special supplement to the British Journal of Psychiatry, Supplement Number 24, 1994.
Phillips MR, Li XY, Zhang YP. Suicide rates in China: 1995-1999. Lancet 2002, 359: 835-840.
Phillips MR, Yang GH, Zhang YP, Wang LJ, Ji HY, Zhao MG. Risk factor for suicide in China: a national case-control psychological autopsy study. Lancet 2002, 360:1728-1736.
Phillips MR, Yang GH, Li SR, Li Y. Suicide and the unique prevalence pattern of schizophrenia in mainland China: a retrospective observational study. Lancet 2004, 364:1062-1068.
Phillips MR, Zhang JX, Shi QC, Song ZQ, Ding ZJ, Pang ST, Li XY, Zhang YL, Wang ZQ. Prevalence, associated disability and treatment of mental disorders in four provinces in China, 2001-2005: an epidemiological survey. Lancet 2009, 373:2041-2053.
Phillips MR. Can China's new mental health law substantially reduce the burden of illness attributable to mental disorders? Lancet 2013; 381: 1964-1966.
Phillips MR, Cheng HG, Li XY, Zhang JX, Shi QC, Song ZQ, Xu GM, Ding ZJ, Pang ST. Prevalence, correlates, comorbidity and age of onset of alcohol use disorders in adult males from five provinces in China. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2017; 173: 170-177.
Yin H, Phillips MR, Wardenaar KJ, Xu G, Ormel H, Tian H, Schoevers RA. The Tianjin Mental Health Survey (TJMHS): study rationale, design and methods. Int J Methods Psychiatr Res 2017; 26(3):1-15 (online-only journal). doi: 10.1002/mpr.1535. Epub 2016 Oct 21
Cheng HG, Phillips MR*, Li XY, Zhang JX, Shi QC, Xu GM, Song ZQ, Ding ZJ, Pang ST. Co-occurrence of DSM-IV mental disorders and alcohol use disorder among adult Chinese males. Psychol Med 2017; 47(16):2811-2822. doi: 10.1017/S0033291717001337. Epub 2017 May 29 (*corresponding author).
Tong YS, Phillips MR*, Yin Y. Prevalence of psychiatric diagnoses in individuals who die by suicide or attempt suicide in China based on independent structured diagnostic interviews with different informants. J Psychiatr Res 2018; 98: 30-38. Epub 20 Dec 2017. (*corresponding author).