Shanghai raises awareness on mental health through community activities

Updated: Aug 31, 2020 Print
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A professor from Shanghai University of Sport delivers a lecture on bone care at a community health service center in Yangpu district, Shanghai. [Photo provided to]

Although people are concerned about mental health, their knowledge about psychology is limited, said Wang Xiaochun, a health consultant and psychology expert who discovered the phenomenon while talking with residents at a community health service project in Shanghai.

The social service project aimed at helping citizens manage their physical and mental health was jointly launched in June by the Yangpu District Committee and the Party Committee of Shanghai University of Sport. A team composed of experts from the college regularly goes into the community to guide residents to eat properly, exercise and take care of their health.

Wang, who is also the vice-president at the School of Psychology at Shanghai University of Sport, said community health consultants also pay attention to the residents' psychological condition and mental health.

"Sneezing and runny nose are symptoms of a cold, which is known by everyone. However, we also experience psychological "cold", such as the feeling of depression when we encounter setbacks, breakups, and unemployment. These disappointments in life often lead to psychological imbalance," Wang said.

"If it is not treated in time, it may further aggravate the symptoms and develop into serious psychological problems," she added.

Wang said many people are not willing to express and analyze themselves during face-to-face consultation, therefore, the health consultants ask anonymous questions to let people write down their real problems in the community, and then answer them one by one through live broadcasts and course services.

"For example, people often ask questions about their children in group discussions. We found that they have many misunderstandings about parent-child relationship. Therefore, we have designed the live broadcast content and courses on the subject. We also can complete some preliminary psychological assessments in the course interactions, which can not only popularize health knowledge but also find problems as soon as possible," Wang introduced.

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