China Takes Measures to Improve Children's Mental Health

January 5, 2020
Editor: Wang Liyan
China Takes Measures to Improve Children's Mental Health
A lecture on mental health is given to students in a middle school in Maanshan City, East China's Anhui Province, on October 9, 2011. [Tuchong]

 

A document on an action plan to ensure the mental health of children and adolescents in 2019-2022 was recently issued in a move to build a beneficial social environment and to create a mental-health service model involving schools, communities, families, media and medical and health institutions. 

The action plan, part of the Healthy China Initiative, was initiated by 12 authorities and organizations, including the National Health Commission, the All-China Women's Federation, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Civil Affairs.

According to the plan, by the end of 2022, half of schools and family-education guidance service stations should carry out mental-health education, 60 percent of the country's psychiatric hospitals at Grade II and above should have children and adolescent's psychological clinics, and 30 percent of children's specialist hospitals, maternity and child health care centers, as well as general hospitals at Grade II and above, should offer mental outpatient services.

Village and neighborhood committees and women's federations are to focus on good family traditions and help parents pay attention to children's mental health. Parents also need to perform duties to create a good family environment and develop children's healthy personalities and good behaviors.

In addition, the plan proposes that more efforts should be made in mental-health publicity and education, creation of healthy mental environments, mental health care, and improvement of support service systems.

The media outlets should play a role in publicizing mental health among children, adolescents, parents and teachers, disseminating mental-health knowledge and right methods of coping with mental and behavior problems.

Education and health departments must work together to promote mental health education for students at schools and medical institutions.

The plan calls for special attention to be given to the mental conditions of pregnant women, parents, and infants and children under 2. Psychological and behavioral development of children aged 0-6 will be screened for early warning signs.

According to the plan, more attention will also be paid to children's development environments and to the channels for reporting violence by teachers or parents, bullying by peers, and child abuse. 

Family care education and assistance will be given to children who have parents with mental disorders. Teenagers with patterns of misconduct will receive psychological counseling. Students suspected of having psychological problems or mental disorders will receive professional assistance through school programs, the plan says. 

For the sake of better mental-health service, local education departments will train teachers in mental health-related issues. Preschool education institutions and primary and secondary schools will be required to conduct at least one mental-health training for parents every year to improve their ability to prevent and identify children's psychological problems.

The document also points out that related governmental departments and organizations should integrate social resources by making use of community service facilities, educational institutions, parents' schools and children's homes to develop mental health education.

 

(Source: China Women's News/Translated and edited by Women of China)

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