Treatment capacity for mental diseases to improve

Updated: 2012-06-07 06:45


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BEIJING - The Ministry of Health plans to establish a treatment network for serious mental diseases that will cover at least 95 percent of counties and cities nationwide by 2015.

"Mental health issues remain an obvious public health and social problem in our country as more people are suffering from melancholy, anxiety and other kinds of mental disorders," said a draft guideline on the country's mental health work for 2012-2015, released Wednesday to seek public feedback.

According to the draft, the country has 16 million people suffering from schizophrenia and other severe mental diseases, and services and treatments for them are inadequate.

Serious mental illnesses mainly include schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder and mental retardation. People suffering from such disorders may find it difficult to control their behaviors and may become a threat to others and public security, according to the ministry.

The guideline looks to ensure formal supervision of 70 percent of patients diagnosed with severe mental diseases while 60 percent are targeted to receive regular treatments by 2015.

The draft comes after a string of killings in recent years that have been linked to people with mental health problems.

In one case, a 63-year-old woman killed her 8-month-old granddaughter in south China's Hunan province and then confessed what she had done to police in June 2011. Expert testimony showed that the woman had suffered from depression for about two years before killing her granddaughter.

In addition, the draft set the goal to equip 90 percent of community health service centers with personnel specializing in mental illnesses treatments by 2015. Psychological crisis intervention teams will be set up in at least 90 percent of provincial-level regions and 60 percent of cities.

The guideline also urged mental consultation and education services for enterprises, elderly groups and other social organizations.