BEIJING — China has introduced a two-year pilot program to find out the psychological conditions and needs of senior citizens at the primary level, the National Health Commission (NHC) announced on July 4.
Covering 1,600 urban communities and 320 villages, the pilot program targets permanent residents aged 65 or above, said Wang Haidong, director of NHC’s Department of Ageing and Health.
Under the program, psychological assessment is carried out based on the personal will of the elderly, said Wang, adding that necessary mental interventions and suggestions of medical treatment will be offered depending on the results.
The program is initiated in response to increasingly prominent mental problems among the elderly over the recent years, according to the NHC.
In wake of urbanization and the acceleration of aging process, China sees an expanding population of migrant and left-behind senior people, who are vulnerable to mental issues, especially when they catch chronic diseases or lose their spouses or friends.
With training sessions, the program is expected to improve the ability of medical workers at the primary level to better identify common psychological issues and offer corresponding help, Wang said.