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Incidence of mental illness rising nationwide

By Wang Xiaodong | China Daily | Updated: 2017-11-29 07:18

"Unlike physicians, psychotherapists can never rise above the middle rank, which obviously restricts their career development," he said.

Liu Tiebang, director of the Shenzhen Mental Health Center, in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, said treatment in the community is important to the recovery process.

He added that large hospitals and community health centers in the city are required to transfer patients with mental health issues to the community for management within three days of them being discharged from the hospital.

Continuous treatment

Moreover, there are only about 700 hospital beds for people with mental illnesses in Shenzhen, far from enough to cope with the demand, so clinical services in communities are extremely important.

In addition to inadequate facilities, the main obstacle to improving local services for patients is lack of staff members within communities, so more training programs are needed to produce enough qualified staff, he said.

Steps are now being taken to rectify the situation, and community-based rehabilitation services should be extensively available in more than 80 percent of all counties and cities by 2025, according to a guideline released by the Ministry of Civil Affairs.

In addition, increased government spending will improve services in communities, and families will be expected to play an important role in community-based rehabilitation of patients, the guideline stated.

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