An official from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC) said greater attention should be paid to the mental health issue among the country's senior citizens.
Li Zhixin, head of the leading Party members group of the National Center for Chronic and Noncommunicable Disease Control and Prevention under the China CDC, made the remarks at a press conference on July 29.
While noting that factors such as economic condition, family and social relations, marital status and one's own physical condition may all affect an elderly person's mental health, Li said the awareness of the issue among the public, including the elderly themselves, is still insufficient.
The system for psychological health service also needs to be improved, he said.
To that end, China has introduced a two-year pilot program from this year to 2020 to find out the psychological conditions and needs of senior citizens at the primary level.
Covering 1,600 urban communities and 320 villages, the pilot program will carry out psychological assessments among permanent residents aged 65 or above and offer necessary interventions and treatment suggestions, Li said.