China Ill-equipped To Cure Mental Woes

By Jose Paolo Calcetas , Jan 28, 2017 04:21 AM EST

Despite its unprecedented economic progress as a first world country, China faces one of its biggest health problems in the advent of the Lunar New Year. Aside from the unresolved smog problem that envelopes some of its key cities and provinces, recent studies have shown that the nation is not well-equipped with facilities and medical personnel to treat their fellowmen suffering from different mental conditions. Moreover, due to social stigma, mentally-challenged individuals have been treated as threats to society.

For instance, Chaoming Street Rehabilitation Center, a check-in institution that helps cure people with psychiatric problems, is one of the very few centers of its kind in China. It is not commensurate with the rapidly-growing number of mental health patients all over the whole country. Mental health patients who live in the countryside would have to travel hundreds of miles just to have access to these facilities. This is because mental health programs are mostly focused on cities and selected rural areas.

The Economist reports that in 2014, the country’s psychiatrists reached 23,000. This meager population cannot cope with the largely-needed number of medical professionals to cure millions of patients. With the present number of psychiatrists, 1 doctor will have to take care of 100,000 patients.
Another concern is that most of the country’s psychiatrists lack qualification and experience. On the other hand, seasoned psychiatrists receive lesser income and are treated inferior to other medical specialists. In Peking University, medical students only undergo 14 days of training in psychiatric care. Chaoming’s head used to work in a textile factory.

Almost a year ago, before the Chinese mental health sector has reached its detrimental and sorry state, Forbes has already predicted that Mental Health Care will be the next biggest market in China. In the mainland alone, Forbes said that 13 out of 100 Beijingers are psychiatrically handicapped. Out of the 7 billion Chinese, about 180 million were determined to have psychiatric problems.
One uncommon but rapidly spreading mental disorder in China roots from the rise of locals who undergo cosmetic surgery procedure. This psychiatric condition is called Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD). Apparently, this triggers a person to undergo surgery to enhance his his physical imperfections to the point of dissatisfaction and lack of contentment.

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