Dr. Phillips is a Canadian citizen who has been a permanent resident of China for 30 years. He received a BSc in psychology from McGill University, an MD from McMaster University, as well as an MA in anthropology and an MPH in 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 also currently principal investigator 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.