Our Mission

The Institute for the Advancement of Counseling Excellence (iACE) seeks to foster the development of high quality, effective, professional counseling services to serve the mental health needs of Chinese people in China and other parts of Asia. Our mission is to provide resources that counselors can use to improve the quality of their services for Chinese clients. In all the resources iACE provides, the emphasis will be on meeting the highest possible international standards of professional excellence while serving with genuine, empathic care, thus promoting “love with knowledge and insight” (Phil 1:9-11).

The Need

  • Mental disorders are increasingly recognized as major contributors to the loss of health worldwide. Nearly a decade has passed since the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that depression would become “a leading cause of disability worldwide” and “a major contributor to the global burden of disease.” (WHO Depression Fact sheet, October 2012)
  • According to WHO, between 76% to 85% of people with severe mental disorders receive no treatment for their disorder in low-income and middle-income countries. (WHO Mental Health Action Plan 2013-2020)
  • The problem lies in the scarcity of well-trained mental health professionals. According to the WHO Mental Health Action Plan: “Almost half of the world’s population lives in countries where, on the average, there is one psychiatrist to serve 200,000 or more people. Other mental health care providers who are trained in the use of psychosocial interventions are even scarcer.” It also noted another important aspect of the treatment gap, namely “the poor quality of care for those receiving treatment” and insufficient use of evidence-based quality treatments for mental disorders.

Our Response

We at iACE are dedicated to finding solutions to the scarcity of well-trained counselors to meet unmet mental health needs of Chinese people in Asia.

  • We are building on many years of experience providing clinical services and training counselors on the ground in China. From 2007 to 2015 one of our founders (Dr. Martha Chiu), drawing on her own clinical experience in providing mental health services to Chinese patients, personally taught and provided clinical supervision for many counselors in a variety of settings in China, including a local Chinese university M.A. degree program, a university student counseling center, community-wide workshops, and a hybrid M.A. degree program from a U.S. university that combined online courses with on-the-ground clinical training.
  • More recently, since 2015 iACE has specialized in providing online bilingual (Chinese-English) counselor education to Chinese-speaking counselors in Asia.