Lack of Mental Health Treatment in China, India and Taiwan

Lack of Mental Health Treatment in China, India and Taiwan
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Compiled and translated by Shin-wei Chang

China and India are facing a rapid increase in mental illness issues without efficient medical treatment, studies suggest.

Published by The Lancet and The Lancet Psychiatry, both internationally renowned medical journals, a series of studies has revealed mounting concern over the rise of mental health problems in China and India.

The number of people suffering mental illness in China and India together is more than the combined total of high-income countries. The illnesses included in the studies include mental disorders, neurological problems and substance abuse.

Scholars warn that providing sufficient health care will be a growing problem for the two countries over the next ten years. From 2013 to 2025, the number of people with mental health issues in China is estimated to grow by 10% and 23% in India.

Research also finds that only 6% of the people suffering from common mental illness in China have sought professional medical treatment. Researchers say, because of the popularity in traditional herbal medicine, people would probably not choose to receive medical services even if they are sufficiently established in the future.

Mental health treatment in Taiwan

BBC reports, many Taiwanese in the past did not acknowledge mental illness issues. However, more nurses and psychiatrists have been trained in treatment of these issues in the past few years, and more employers are willing to hire recovering patients.

According to the Taipeilife of Heart Association, in 2012 more than two million people visited hospital psychiatry departments in Taiwan. The overall number of mental illness patients in Taiwan reached more than 120,000 in 2014.

However, as a four-year-old was beheaded in a so-called random attack on March 28, the necessity of enhancing the mental health care system has been brought up by politicians and the public, including President Tsai Ing-wen, who has promised to make psychological and mental treatment more available.

Edited by Olivia Yang

Sources:

The Lancet

The China Post

The New York Times

CNA

The Straits Times

BBC

Taipeilife of Heart Association