Shelly Li/ PortolaHS 12th Grade
Hualiang Yu, the doctor in The Second Affiliated hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine, comes up with the trait of the current mental health (depression) condition in China on Xinhua Net: “Three High Three Low”, as “high morbidity rate, high recurrence rate, high suicide rate; low awareness rate, low visit rate, low treatment rate”.
In fact, until 2017, there were about 300 million people who suffered from depression.
Particularly in China, the morbidity rate of depression is almost over 7%, and 10%-15% of them would eventually commit suicide, directing to the second leading cause of death among people aged 15 to 29.
Doctor Yu claims on Xinhua Net, “[The] public’s awareness of mental illness is less than 50%, and the rate of visits is [even] lower. About 90% of patients do not realize that they may have depression and seek medical treatment in time. As high as 62.9% of the patients with depression has never been treated in their whole lifetime.”
Perhaps due to cultural backgrounds and the understanding of natural diseases, the Chinese public often holds stigmas against mental illnesses, especially depression. People see mental illnesses as no big deal. They believe that people who have depression are just too emotional and sensitive: they are too weak to face their life problems. Therefore, it is not rare to see people who suffer in depression refuse to admit having depression or suddenly cease his/her treatment half-way through-because of the fear of being discriminated against from the environment after people around his/her know the condition.
However, fortunately, the situation has changed a little. As years passed, younger generations in China gradually noticed the importance of mental health. In the years of 2018 and 2019, more and more individuals and families start urging to improve mental health awareness and take actions to manage personal stress. Thus, on July 24, 2019, a press conference on a national campaign for mental health promotion was held by the experts.
The national campaign advocated for mental health awareness on a greater scale under the support of the Chinese government, hoping to make some changes. They encouraged people to dial psychological assistance hotlines or to go to any specialized departures of hospitals and mental health service institutions whenever people are feeling down and seeking for help.
As the increasing number of people with mental illnesses in China, the government set solutions and made efforts to improve the treatment rate of depression to 80% by 2030. With this grand goal in mind, China still has a long path to go. But I believe as long as people start to realize the importance of mental health awareness, the day of success won’t be too far.
<Shelly Li/ PortolaHS 12th Grade