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China faces shortage of psychologists
Updated: 2004-09-07 13:46

Psychological services in China are inadequate, with a shortage of trained specialists and no professional standards, a conference has concluded.

A national psychologists convention in Shanghai estimated that 20 percent of China's 1.3 billion people had psychological problems, the South China Morning Post reported Monday. But there are only a few hundred professional psychologists to cope with the problems.

In Shanghai, with a population of 17 million, including 3 million migrant workers, there are only about 100 therapists, the report said.

Dr. Wu Heming, of the Zhongde Psychological Consulting Hospital in Wuhan, said Chinese people face high pressure because of the lack of a social security system, the one-child policy, and rising expectations on students and workers to perform well.

Wu also said the Cultural Revolution had left psychological scars on an entire generation, and that these were also affecting their children.

Shenzhen therapist Dai Yingpin said some therapists and counselors had as little as three months' training, or none at all. She also said it was hard for professionals to make a living as people did not understand the importance of mental health.

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