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China on the Couch: Psychologists Struggle To Meet Demand

Posted by Author on September 14, 2006

Radio Free Asia, 2006.09.14,

HONG KONG—China’s stunning economic growth and deepening social inequalities are ramping up stress across the population, with urban white-collar workers, high-flyers, and young people all seeking psychological help in unprecendented numbers, mental health professionals say.

“One doctor will see seven or eight patients in the course of a day’s work here,” Zhan Chunhua, a psychological counselor at the Kangning Counseling Hotline in the southern city of Guangzhou, told RFA’s Mandarin service.

“We have more than 20 doctors working here. Some of our clients continue to see us for one or two years, or even four or five years,” Zhan said.

Huge demand for counseling

Hotlines such as Zhan’s are proliferating rapidly in major cities across China, and frequently advertise their services online, with names like “The Soul’s Home,” “Kind Hearts,” or “A Burden Halved.”

As understanding of psychological issues becomes deeper in China, and demand increases, he added, China’s mental health professionals are only going to get busier.

“There really is a huge demand for these services…The psychological profession will be very important in the promotion of mental health in the future,” he told “Investigative Report.” (to be cont’d…)

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Related:

Suicide Rampant Among China’s Rural Women, City High-FlyersRadio Free Asia

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