Mental health issues are a large concern in China and requires much attention from both the regular population and the people in positions of power. While not much is known about the People’s Republic of China, a number of statistics and research have been made to record the status of people’s mental health. A survey was conducted during a period from 2013 to 2015, taking information from 32 thousand people within China. It has been found that the prevalence of any mental disorders among the participants was around 9.3%. Anxiety disorders were most prevalent among these. A more recent study shows a more drastic and alarming picture, however. Tanking data from a 2019 study, the prevalence of mental illness seemed to have increased, which can either be accounted to the general deterioration of society or better methods of recognizing mental illness.
Among the adult population, the rate of mental disorders is at around 17.5%, with anxiety disorders, mood disorders, and substance use disorders taking up respectively 6.1%, 5.6%, and 5.9 percent (Huang et al., 2019). The living conditions of people affected by some of the conditions are either severely limited or actively undermined by their treatment in society. Most notably, people with bipolar disorder have a significant decline in lifespan in China (Huang et al., 2019). It is also noted, however, that the recognition rates for such conditions are much lower than the world average, making the likely statistics much more severe in their nature and scope (Huang et al., 2019). The availability of treatment options and official diagnosis rates are also limited in their capacity, making the process of receiving mental health in China difficult. The compounded weight of these factors makes the issues of mental health both underreported and poorly understood. Many individuals are unable to receive sufficient help and assistance they require and do not have the capacity to change their circumstances.
Mental health demographic information relevant to specific populations (e.g., gender, ethnicity, age)
In relation to mental health population statistics, relevant information on the subject highlights a few different trends. An increasing amount of pressure is being put on adolescents and young teenagers, increasing the rates of self-harm and suicide among these populations (Wang et al., 2020). With the need to succeed in life and find a stable job or an educational field, the brochure exerted on young children keeps increasing, leading to more problems connected with their mental health and well-being. Rapid Socio-economic developments lead to more uncertainty of the future and rapid changes in the state of the world. in this climate, it is hard for young minds to develop properly mature and assess the world around them in a healthy manner. The prevalence on non-lethal self-harm in people below the age of 18 is shown to be at one of the higher points from the world average, making the issue much more apparent (Wang et al., 2020). With other demographics, differences also exist in their relationship with mental illness. Women are more likely to suffer from mood and anxiety-related disorders, while men are more aligned with alcohol use (Phillips et al., 2009). These statistics further differ for those living in major cities and the country, with the latter having a much larger tendency to suffer from either alcohol abuse or depression disorders.
What type of treatments are available for those suffering from mental health?
The treatment and management of mental disorders in China is quite a bit different than in other countries, partially due to the lack of proper recognition, preparation, of acknowledgment from government organizations. Most professionals occupied in the sphere of mental health are psychiatrists and psychiatric nurses, with other professionals such as psychologists or social workers being much rarer (Liu et al., 2011). Therapists seem to not exist in a meaningful capacity at all, meaning that people have to rely on a limited number of professional and capable people to assists them in the process of becoming healthier (Liu et al., 2011). Ministries of Health and Human Recourses are the main contributors to the employment of professionals, with the former being responsible psychiatrists and nurses and the latter psychological counselors and psychotherapists (Liu et al., 2011). Relative to the overall population of China and the workforce in the mental sphere of other countries, the Chinese mental health support network is rather small. Mental health professionals are often underqualified, underrepresented and undervalued, limiting their contribution to the mental health scene. On another note, traditional remedies are also often used in China to resolve issues connected with mental health. With a variety of practices and techniques, it is possible to find solutions for mental health conditions connected with depression, anxiety, stress, and other types of negative influences. Such approaches as acupuncture, massages, herbs, dietary choices and tai chi.
What are the qualifications needed for a mental health professional?
The process of providing mental help and assistance is severely regulated by the government and the responsible organizations. To have the ability to work as a psychological counselor, a person should be sufficiently in their abilities. One way is to be officially certified for medical practice in psychology; another way is to obtain a certification from the government, which works in a similar way. The last way would be to be recognized as a practicing doctor. In a less organized sense, a mental health professional must be able to support their clients in a comprehensive manner, using a variety of methodologies and approaches. They must be able to show compassion, understanding, care, and professionalism to properly support their patients in the ability to live and prosper. Recognizing patient agency and choice is also an important consideration and qualification a mental health professional requires, as the ability to allow people to set their own boundaries and not feel restricted is crucial to recovery.
What are some of the major obstacles to providing care for mental health?
There is a number of obstacles towards providing high-quality health care in China. First of all, the size of the workforce in the mental health sphere is relatively small, making the availability of professionals are rather low. A lack of proper mental health education systems and methods has a large impact on the education system’s ability to produce good professionals. The limited nature of official accreditation also keeps many professionals from realizing their potential by helping others. Only a handful of people can allow themselves to be counseled or supported by a psychiatrist or a psychologist making the problem more exacerbated. In cases where professionals are found, one also needs to be aware of fraudulent or misleading behavior, as many people are disguising themselves as mental health professionals under the guise of gaining money. It is also important to note that the funding and resources are not being spent in an equal manner, with major cities and areas being supported much more thoroughly by mental health services than rural areas (Que et al., 2019). Another major issue the Chinese mental health fear has is the lack of acceptance, knowledge, and awareness in both the general public and the government. Some types of mental illness are not recognized for what they are making the people suffering from them recognized for what they are making the lives of people suffering from them that much harder. The prominence of mental health disorders and problems is being severely under-recognized, with many of the calling signs ignored. This tendency makes the Chinese mental health industry unable to act quickly addressed the concerns of the people and provide them with the service that they need.
What are some of the preventions and/or treatment options within the country?
Such options as psychiatric hospitals and clinics are always open to willing people, although it can be quite difficult to find the ones that will accept the validity of one’s diagnosis. With the widespread misconceptions about the dangers of the spread and the prevalence of mental health disorders in society, not many organizations are capable of providing systematized and effective help to the population. General hospitals are able to provide a number of services, including doctor checkups and some amount of psychiatrist overlook, but due to their unspecialized nature, their services are limited. Psychiatric hospitals made specifically to address the problems of the mentally ill are a good and prominent solution in the country, but it does not address the problem fully as not all the people need to receive psychiatric treatment to feel better. The availability of therapy as a solution is scarce, with both the professionals and the frameworks for accomplishing it being severely underdeveloped.
What cultural components of care/treatment differ from western culture?
In the West, especially in America, the importance of mental health as a concept is widely recognized, and people understand that by destigmatizing mental health issues, we can help the broader community to secure their well-being and continued prosperity. Treating each person with human decency, respect, and consideration they deserve are the most important pillars of mental health support which are always considered to be one of the main priorities in any activity. In China, however, the situation is a bit more warped. In the high traditionalist society, mental health issues are not being recognized as vitally, leading to people misunderstanding the best ways of treating them and assisting the people that suffered from them. Many conditions such as bipolar disorder, anxiety, depression, and others are not being recognized as such and therefore not treated in a professional sense. The inability to properly assess the needed practices of working with mental illness is what keeps China from achieving better outcomes satisfaction rates for their people. In terms of treatment, it can be noted that cultural and social differences between western and eastern nations plays a big role. Spirituality if often an important and central concept of Chinese life, incorporating not faith itself, but ancient tradition and non-professional medical practices. Traditional remedies and treatment methods are widely used as a solution for both physical and mental problems. The usage of herbs, acupuncture, mental exercises, meditation and other techniques is an often occurrence, and people’s faith towards such methods is much more concrete.
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Liu, J., Man, H., He, Y.-L., Xie, B., Xu, Y.-F., Tang, H.-Y., … Yu, X. (2011). Mental health system in China: history, recent service reform and future challenges. World Psychiatry, 10(3), 210–216. Web.
Phillips, M. R., Zhang, J., Shi, Q., Song, Z., Ding, Z., Pang, S., … Wang, Z. (2009). Prevalence, treatment, and associated disability of mental disorders in four provinces in China during 2001–05: an epidemiological survey. The Lancet, 373(9680), 2041–2053. Web.
Que, J., Lu, L., & Shi, L. (2019). Development and challenges of mental health in China. General Psychiatry, 32(1). Web.
Wang, C., Zhang, P., & Zhang, N. (2020). Adolescent mental health in China requires more attention. The Lancet Public Health, 5(12). Web.