Introduction to National Institute of Mental Health

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National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

Tel: 84.4.35765344 – Fax: 84.4.35765346 – – Email:

I. Human Resources

National Institute of Mental Health has 66 staff members: 02 Associate Professors; 10 PhDs (07 are in progress); 07 Specialists level II (03 are in progress); 09 Masters (01 are in progress); 03 Resident doctor; 05 Bachelors (in nursing or in psychology,); 36 nurses; 09 support staff (driver, technicians and others).


II. Organizational Structure

There are 09 departments in NIMH:

  1. General Department;
  2. Out-patient Department;
  3. Male Psychotic Patient Department;
  4. Female Psychotic Patient Department;
  5. Specific Psychiatry Department;
  6. By Request Service Department;
  7. Substance Abuse Department;
  8. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Department;
  9. Functional Investigation Department.

III. History in brief

National Institute of Mental Health was departed from the Psychiatric Department of Bach Mai Hospital. Along with history of the Hospital, NIMH has experienced periods of establishment and development.

  • In 1911, the Psychiatric Department, the initial organization of NIMH was established with the functions of caring for patients with chronic mental illness and for political criminals with physical diseases.
  • In 1954, under the leadership of the Revolutionary Government, the Psychiatric Department was rebuilt and Bach Mai Hospital launched Neurological Department.
  • In 1959, these two departments were merged to be Psycho-Neurological Department. The Head was Dr Nguyễn Quốc Ánh.
  • In 1969, as functions of Psychiatry and Neurology are different, the Psycho-Neurological Department was split again into Psychiatric Department and Neurological Department.
  • 1969 - 1991, the Psychiatric Department independently operated as other departments in Bach Mai Hospital. From 1969 to 1987, the Head was Dr Nguyen Viet and the Deputy Head was Dr Tran Di Ai. There were two in-patient wards with 50 beds: ward for male psychiatric patients (T4) and ward for female psychiatric patients (T5). In 1984, Dr Nguyen Viet was conferred Professor Level I title (equivalent to the Associate Professor). In this period, the Department had 01 Associate Professor, 02 PhDs, 03 Specialists level II, 11 Specialists level I, 10 nurses and 04 ward orderlies. From 1987 to 1991, the leaders of the Department were Professor Nguyen Viet, Dr Tran Thi Binh An and Dr La Thi Buoi.
  • To meet the development requirements in training and scientific research on mental health in Vietnam and the world, in August 8th 1991, the NIMH was founded according to the Decision no. 784/QĐ-BYT of the Minister of Health, based on the combination of the Psychiatric Department of Bach Mai Hospital, Psychiatric Department of Hanoi Medical University and the Central Psychiatric Hospital I. The Director was Professor Nguyen Viet and Vice Directors were Associate Professor Nguyen Dang Dung, Associate Professor Nguyen Viet Thiem and Specialist of level II Tran Van Cuong.
  • The foundation of NIMH was an important milestone, marked the growth of Vietnam Psychiatry, confirmed the position of the National Institute of Mental Health in the training and scientific research in Vietnam, strengthened the  international cooperation.
  • At the beginning, NIMH consisted of some departments: Operation Department to support the Director in planning, administration and personnel; two in-patient Departments were one for male (T4) and the other for female (T5), one Out-patient Department and Functional Investigation: EEG (Electroencephalography) and psychological Tests. The total number of beds was 50 including 45 beds for in-patients and 05 beds for out-patients. 1993, the NIMH set up a new Department for Children’s and Adolescent. 1995, regarding to the demand from Ministry of Health, Substance Abuse Department was established to study on treating Opioid Dependence by Methadone.
  • 1996, Associate Professor Tran Viet Nghi was appointed as Director of NIMH. Three Vice directors were Associate Professor Nguyen Viet Thiem, Associate Professor Tran Van Cuong and Associate Professor Nguyen Dang Dung.
  • 1998, Associate Professor Nguyen Dang Dung retired. Specialist of level I Nguyen Minh Tuan was appointed as Vice Director.
  • April 2008, The Ministry of Health and the Directorate Board of Bach Mai Hospital assigned PhD, Senior Doctor Nguyễn Quốc Anh, the current Director of Bach Mai Hospital, to be the Director of NIMH with the duty to support NIMH to stabilize, develop and strengthen the leadership.
  • In September 2008, Associate Professor Tran Huu Binh was assigned as Director in charge. The Vice Directors of NIMH were PhD Nguyen Kim Viet, Msc Nguyen Doan Phuong and Specialist of level II Nguyen Minh Tuan.
  • Concerning to the organization, NIMH set up some new units, such as Scientific technical Council, International Cooperation Committee, Inspection Committee, Economic Committee, By Request Service Department, Special Psychiatry Department, Functional Investigating Department, Psychiatric Rehabilitation Department and Substance Abuse Department in order to meet the demands of development. Especially, NIMH established a website ( to promote communication, national and international cooperation.
  • October 2008, regarding to the decree no. 43/NĐ-CP of the Government, NIMH had a full right for autonomy and self-responsibility for finance. This was good condition to develop NIMH to a new level with a high professional reputation, high medical care quality not only in Vietnam but also at world wide scale. Moreover, this could help to improve the staff’s living condition. With 100 in-patient beds, annually, NIMH receive about 2,000-2,500 in-patients during acute episode, beside manage more than 10,000 out-patients. The facilities have been upgraded and improved to conduct the high quality for healthcare and staff training.
  • Since January 2011, The Party Committee and Minister of The Ministry of Health, The Party Executive Committee and The Directorate Board of Bach Mai Hospital nominated Associate Professor Nguyen Kim Viet (Vice Director of NIMH, Chairman of Psychiatric Department of Hanoi Medical University, Vice Director of Central Institute of Forensic Psychiatry) as the Director of NIMH. From this time, NIMH moved from stabilization stage to a new period: expansion and development. The wards were rebuilt, widened, gradually upgraded according to Bach Mai Hospital Criteria (with rest room, air conditioner, TV, ... inside). The Substance Abuse Department was developed to be a complete  ered H, ctor of NIMH.l University and Vice Director of National Psychiatric Forensic Indepartment. The Out-patient and Functional Investigation Department was reorganized. NIMH has 165 in-patient beds and 120-130 out-patients per day so far.
  • With the approval of Bach Mai Hospital, all departments of NIMH has specialized in Psychiatry since October 5th, 2011. This is an important milestone in the NIMH development’s road map and Vietnam Psychiatry with a view to integrating into the world in the field of Psychiatry, to meet its functions in training, scientific research, in line with Vietnam socio-economic development. The developed Departments include:
  1. M1: General Planning Department
  2. M2: Out-patient Department
  3. M3: Stress-related Disorder Department
  4. M4: Child Psychiatry and Psychogeriatric Department
  5. M5: Schizophrenic Disorder Department
  6. M6: Mood Disorder and Post-partum related Disorder Department
  7. M7: Substance Abuse Department

IV. Achievements

4.1. Scientific Research

  • Cooperated with the World Health Organization to complete the project: "Assessing the current status of mental health care in primary health care system".
  • Finished the National Level project: "Mental health of Vietnamese in the market mechanisms and how to intervene".
  • Completed the Ministry level project: “Research on treatment of Opioid Dependence by psychotropic medications”.
  • Completed the Ministry level project: “Research on prevention of Opioid Dependence Relapse by Naltrexone”.
  • Carried out the Ministry level project: “Research on treatment for Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome by Clonidine”.
  • Carried out the Ministry level project: “Research on treatment for Amphetamine Abuse”.
  • Submitted papers to Journal of Clinical Medicine, Bach Mai Hospital.
  • Usually reporting Psychiatric Research Results (twice a week) and Scientific Presentation (once a week) at NIMH.
  • Organizing annual scientific meetings (twice a year) with the delegation from satellite psychiatric hospitals and nationwide.


4.2. Training

NIMH is the destination of the leading scientists in the field of psychiatry in Vietnam, the high reputation place for under and post graduate training in psychiatry in the whole country. NIMH collaborates with Psychiatric Department of Hanoi Medical University for:

  • Training 5th year medical students for Hanoi Medical University.
  • Training Bachelors of nursing for Hanoi Medical University.
  • Training undergraduate students for Tue Tinh Teaching Hospital of Traditional Medicine.
  • Providing fieldwork for Psychological students from Psychological Department, Hanoi National University.
  • Training nursing students for Nursing School, Bach Mai Hospital.
  • Organizing training courses on Functional Investigation and Psychological Tests for staff from satellite hospitals.
  • Training PhDs, Master, Specialists level I and II, Internship Doctors in Psychiatry in Vietnam. In 2011 alone, NIMH has trained 11 PhD students, 21 Specialist of Level II students, 04 Resident Doctors, 03 Masters students, 09 Specialist of Level I students.
  • Granting Psychiatry Certificates for post-graduate in the field of Neurology and Public Health.
  • Cooperating with The Central Psychiatric Hospital I in training psychiatry-oriented specialty.
  • Besides, NIMH always encourages staff to participate in training courses to upgrade their career. At the moment, NIMH has 07 PhD students, 03 specialist level II students, 04 master students, 03 bachelors of nursing students.
  • Moreover, NIMH regularly train, retrain and update knowledge for psychiatrists and bachelors of nursing.


4.3. Community supports

  • NIMH, together with The Central Psychiatric Hospital I and the Central Psychiatric Hospital II, has carried out the National Programme of Community Mental Health Care for training and model application.
  • Since November 2008, according to the policy of the Government and the Ministry of Health in the project no. 1816, NIMH has regularly sent professional staff to the Psychiatric Hospitals in Northern Provinces for technical supports (Yên Bái, H ưng Yên, Hà Nam, Nam Định, Bắc Giang, Bắc Ninh, Thanh Hoá, Vĩnh Phúc). Besides, NIMH also sent Professors, PhDs and Masters to these hospitals to give lectures about achievements, both in theory and practice in the field of psychiatry.
  • Since 2009, the NIMH’s website ( has been active with more than 100 hits everyday. This facility officially provides information and knowledge to Community on Mental Health. This website also gives online psychiatric consultation.
  • Has organized the National Workshops and Training Courses on Psychiatry in the Provinces of Hai Phong, Hanoi, Hue, Binh Dinh, Buon Ma Thuot, Hoi An, Nha Trang, Da Lat, ...
  • Organizing the retraining courses for psychiatric nurses in Nghe An, Thanh Hoa, ...





4.4. International cooperation

NIMH is always aware that International Cooperation is a strategic task assigned by the Ministry of Health. In recent decades, NIMH has successfully completed the mission as a bridge to connect Vietnam with the world in the field of psychiatry.

  • NIMH, together with the Central Psychiatric Hospital I, cooperates with WHO in annual finance activities.
  • Has organized successfully international conferences on mental health in cooperation with WHO, Psychiatry Association of Australia, France, ...
  • Sending staff to France, Belgium, Australia, … for studying and learning the models of Mental Health Care.
  • Cooperating with the Dutch Health Committee in Vietnam to organize "Conference in mental health care for Vietnamese".
  • NIMH cooperates with the Karolinska Institute in undergraduate training: KI sent undergraduate students to NIMH to learn the pattern of mental diseases and the health care system in Vietnam.
  • Cooperating with the University of Freiburg, Germany in training Psycho-somatic Medicine and Psycho-therapy.
  • Cooperating with the University of Queensland, Australia in compiling the training program for under and post graduate nursing students in mental health.
  • Cooperating with Family Health International in training experts for “The program on Treatment for Opioid addiction in community”.


4.5. Labor Union

  • Under the guidance and direction of the Director of Bach Mai Hospital, NIMH has effectively implemented the decree no. 43/NĐ-CP of the Government.
  • Following the staff’s agreements "Increase revenue, reduce costs, avoid loss and improve the quality of service".
  • Proposing and implementing the Regulations on Control, Emulation. These regulations are amended and supplemented according to reality.
  • Gradually improve the staff’s living condition. Create the comfortable and autonomic working atmosphere in the offices.
  • Monthly cerebrate birthday for staff. Since August 2009, NIMH has sponsored lunch for all staff and meals for on duty staff.
  • Visiting and encouraging staff in cases of sickness, funeral, wedding and rewarding for staff with excellent performances. In 2009, NIMH had "Passbook of the charity” from staff and postgraduate students of the NIMH to support a staff’s children whom died while on duty time.
  • Within excellent performances in Mental Health Care, NIMH has received many awards, emulation flags from Ministry of Health, Bach Mai Hospital and highly appreciated letter from patients and their families.


V. Conclusion

NIMH has been experiencing various stages during its process of establishment and development. Since 2008, especially at the current stage, thanks to the great leadership of The Ministry of Health, Bach Mai Hospital and the great effort of all staff, NIMH has made brilliant achievements in areas of training, scientific research, international cooperation, community supports, mental health care, service quality improvement, in/out-patient management, psychiatry’s knowledge universality and public communication. It could be said that NIMH has created the necessary steps for further development on the way of regional scale and worldwide scale integrating in the field of psychiatry.


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