Chinas Mental Health Services – Health System Example

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"China’ s Mental Health Services" is a perfect example of a paper on the health system.   Michael R. Phillips identifies that there are seven phases in the evolution of modern China’ s mental health services, which include the Republican era, post-liberation, cultural revolution, early reform era, late reform era, post-SARS eras, and the First National Mental Health Law (00:02:15-00:06:12). He identifies a number of factors that have challenged the development of mental health services in China since 1990. These challenges include few mental health services in rural areas; urban hospitals focusing primarily on specialty hospitals; lack of incentives to provide community services; low status of mental health professionals; physicians do not provide mental health services; few mental health nurse practitioners; clinical psychologists and social workers; and social challenges that lead to the need of for new types of mental health services (00:10:48-00:11:56).

The number of suicides committed has been on the rise each year, and it has also been noted that more adults frequently commit suicide more than younger ones (00:16:16). This is attributed to the lack of incentives to provide adequate mental health care to mentally ill victims.

Excessive alcohol abuse and daily smoking among Chinese men have also been reported as a major contributor to mental illness and suicide cases (00:31:34). In addressing global mental health, it is advisable to set priorities, which Phillips lists in the following order; depression, suicide prevention, psychoses, child and adolescent mental disorder, epilepsy, dementia, disorders due to use of alcohol, and disorders due to illicit drug use (00:36:50-00:37:13). He says that the goal of a Comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan is, “ to promote mental well-being, prevent mental disorders, and reduce the mortality and disability for persons with mental disorder” (00:38:16). The Shanghai Mental Health Center and China-India Mental Health Alliance were established to ensure quality delivery of mental health services and promote global mental health.

There is also` Ningxia Mental Health Project that is also aimed at promoting Global Mental Health. There is also the need to promote the psychological well-being of factory workers who constitutes a bigger percentage of China’ s population (00:41:43). The predictions for China: Phillips believes that “ Past performance is no guarantee of future results” (00:42:31).

    The global community has highly praised China for building universal healthcare coverage.  


Michael R. Phillips. 2013 Distinguished Almnus of University of Washington School of Public Health Walter Ames Public Lecture: Mental Health in the People’s Republic of China: An epidemiological Journey. Electronic Source.
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