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    분류 Global 학교 한국외국인학교 (Korea International School)
Stigmatization of Mental Illness in China 2022-05-15 오후 6:27:00

Comparable to Western countries, stigmatization of mental illness is commonplace in Asia. With increasing socio-economic stability and life expectancy, mental disorders and psycho-behavioral problems have become more prevalent over time.

In China, 13 percent of all non-communicable disease burden is caused by incidents of mental illness (General Psychiatry). However, China’s recognition rate of mental illnesses is significantly lower than the global average of 50 percent. In the case of depression, the recognition rate is only 21% in Shanghai, China (General Psychiatry). Hence, it is crucial to investigate the cause of China’s severe state regarding the people’s mental health.

One of many reasons why China’s recognition rate is low is because of stigma. Mental health is not a priority in most Asian countries, and most patients resort to either traditional family treatment methods or religious alternatives, which are unsuccessful most of the time (The Sundial). Stigma revolving around mental illness influences patients’ willingness and readiness to seek treatment, and also provokes self-discriminative tendencies (University of Chicago). According to The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Douglas Abrams, the human ability to “maintain positive states” and “recover from negative states” constitutes to our happiness as part of the different brain circuits that take place in people. With stigma and discrimination towards the mentally ill being “the single most important barrier to overcome in the community”, as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), it is imperative to examine the current status of cultural beliefs on mental illness that cause stigmatization in Asian countries, and recognize its significance as a risk to the mental wellbeing of people. This evaluation directs us to the question: What does the current status of mental illness stigmatization in China suggest about a need for combative methods?

Now, it is of vital importance for us to scrutinize this issue through the social and economic lense in order to understand the considerations and combative measures for the stigmatization of mental illness in China.

한국외국인학교 (Korea International School)
Kaylee Kim
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