Psychological help urgently needed for bereaved parents
Updated: 2015-05-28 15:52
"Shidu" families, or aging parents who have lost their only child, not only face financial and medical needs due to their loss, but also deep psychological ones, which social services are failing to meet, says an article in Shenzhen Special Zone Daily.
Being a childless parent is a “catastrophe” for traditional Chinese families who depend heavily on their children to support and look after them when they get old. But even compared with the economic hardship and declining physical health these aged parents face, the challenge that grief poses their psychological well-being is even greater.
Even though relevant government departments and social charity organizations have offered many financial subsidies and medical care to “shidu” families, they don’t pay enough attention to their mental health needs, and fail to give timely psychological help due to the lack of professional psychologists.
Undoubtedly, the whole society should reach a consensus that helping bereaved parents through their grief and rebuilding their confidence toward life should be part of social assistance.
When it comes to the proper time to give spiritual comfort to these childless seniors, the relevant government staff and NGO volunteers should collect information about their family. For example, they can visit them on holidays or some special days such as their late children’s birthdays and death anniversaries.
Besides, we can also offer small gatherings of “shidu” families to share their problems, to give advice and support each other. Through such support networks they may feel cared for by society and be able to work towards new goals in their lives.