Chinese people are increasingly concerned about mental health as the COVID pandemic still rages in the country. The reason is that the strict epidemic management policies have significantly impacted people’s lives, leading to stress, anxiety, and depression. People are now seeking help.

Sixthtones cited Xie Bin, vice president of the Shanghai Mental Health Center, as saying that, once, people would come to the mental health center secretly and feel nervous, but now how Chinese people view mental health has changed significantly.

He added that the psychotherapy center had become a familiar and popular “check-in” place in China. The people who come to the center post photos on social media holding cups with the words “No.600” printed on their address of the Shanghai Mental Health Center. Also, masks with logos and center names have become a sought-after accessory. Even the mooncakes in the canteen to be sold to employees with the central sign on them have become collectibles.

The increasing demand for psychological treatment is also the cause of the chaotic development of the psychotherapy industry in this country.

In addition to state-run psychotherapy centers, illegal and non-accredited private clinics are booming in the country.

As reported by Sixthtone, mental health private clinics currently have no universal standards, no authoritative process for the recognition or certification of legal practice, and no authorized body or professional body to supervise the practice.

In these clinics, it is impossible to know how many staff are trained or highly specialized. 

Commenting on the matter, Xie Bin told Sixthtone that even having a certificate doesn’t mean they’re qualified because training is only for a few months. Currently, there are no formal training schools for this career.

 Low-quality service is not only a waste of money but can also be dangerous. If this situation continues for a long time, it will harm people because their mental health condition may worsen.

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