The State Council on June 18 issued a work plan concerning mental health jointly drawn up by several ministries including the National Health and Family Planning Commission.
With the rapid development of economic society, the pace of life is speeding up and people face more mental health risks. As a result, common mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety disorder are increasing, but efforts to improve mental health care are facing challenges due to the shortage of service resources.
The new work plan laid out specific targets to accomplish by the year 2020:
The integrated management and coordination mechanism concerning mental health will be further improved, covering three administrative levels - province, city and county - and 70% villages and towns.
A sound service system for mental health will be established, with the three-level administrative districts having professional institutes - and villages and towns having a mental health department in at least one local general hospital.
The authorities will address the shortage of mental health workers, aiming to employ a total of 40,000 psychiatrists.
Psychiatric patients will enjoy effective treatment and monitoring. The authorities should find out exactly how many patients with a serious mental illness reside in their area, and make sure at least 80% of such patients - and 80% of schizophrenics - are monitored. Patients with a serious mental illness who have financial difficulties can be eligible for assistance to pay for their treatment.
Measures to prevent and control common mental health disorders and psychiatric behavioral problems will be improved. The authorities will also make efforts to increase public awareness of common mental disorders such as depression which is expected to boost the number of people seeking help , and rate of treatment of medical institutions will increase by 50%.
A rehabilitation service network for mutual support - involving medical institutes, community-based rehabilitation, social organizations and families - will be established.