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【China Daily】Alliance Set Up to Improve Children's Mental Health

May 18, 2021      Author: ZHOU WENTING

The Yangtze River Delta Region Children and Adolescents' Mental Health Enhance Alliance was established at Shanghai-based Xinhua Hospital on Sunday. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

The Yangtze River Delta Region Children and Adolescents' Mental Health Enhance Alliance was established at Shanghai-based Xinhua Hospital on Sunday.

Sixty-three hospitals and some teachers in charge of students' mental health from educational authorities at city- and district-levels became inaugural members of the alliance with a joint goal to provide early detection and intervention for children who undergo psychological difficulties and improve the overall mental health levels of individuals aged below 18.

Zhang Jinsong, director of the clinical psychology department at Xinhua Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, said that there is a rising need for psychological health support for minors over the past few years, but there are currently fewer than 20 psychiatrists specializing in children's mental problems in Shanghai.

Within the alliance, experts from the children's psychology department at Xinhua Hospital and the children and adolescents department from the Shanghai Mental Health Center have teamed up to design mental health intervention plans for children from kindergarten, primary schools and middle schools.

"We'll hold seminars, workshops and lectures online and offline to more than 100 frontline doctors within the alliance every month to enrich their experience of screening and treating children with mental challenges," said Zhang, who added that most member hospitals treat adult cases but lack experience in dealing with juveniles.

She said that the teachers in the alliance will be requested to pass on the skills to those in charge of students' psychological health in schools.

"Also, there will be guidebooks for the teachers to help children recognize and understand their own emotions and deal with various situations, such as conflicts between peers, academic pressure, conflicts with parents, and public emergencies, in appropriate and positive ways," Zhang said.

The alliance will also offer offline and online lectures regarding juvenile mental health to students and parents, according to Zhang.

Experts said that the COVID-19 pandemic is behind the rise of psychological health problems among minors.

Two research projects conducted by Xinhua Hospital have shown that children suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, experienced a deterioration in emotional state, more conflicts with parents and a worsening in the ability to focus, said Zhang.

 

Source: China Daily