Mental health system in China: history, recent service reform and future challenges

World Psychiatry. 2011 Oct;10(3):210-6. doi: 10.1002/j.2051-5545.2011.tb00059.x.


This paper summarizes the history of the development of Chinese mental health system; the current situation in the mental health field that China has to face in its effort to reform the system, including mental health burden, workforce and resources, as well as structural issues; the process of national mental health service reform, including how it was included into the national public health program, how it began as a training program and then became a treatment and intervention program, its unique training and capacity building model, and its outcomes and impacts; the barriers and challenges of the reform process; future suggestions for policy; and Chinese experiences as response to the international advocacy for the development of mental health.

Keywords: China; Mental health system; challenge; history; reform; service.