CHINA Mental health highlighted as China sees progress in epidemic control

CHINA

Mental health highlighted as China sees progress in epidemic control

Xinhua

10:09, March 20, 2020

Huang Yibin (L), a psychological counselor, gets to know the quarantined people's condition from other staff members at a medical observation point in Haikou, south China's Hainan province, March 8, 2020. (Photo: Xinhua)

China has released a work plan on psychological counseling for those affected by COVID-19 as the country sees positive signs in taming the epidemic.

The work plan, issued by the State Council inter-agency task force for epidemic control on Wednesday, called for sustained psychological counseling services especially for COVID-19 patients, their families, families of fallen patients, vulnerable groups, health workers and those fighting the virus in the front line including police officers and community workers.

A cross-department approach was suggested to help people overcome the psychological trauma brought by the epidemic, the work plan said, designating specific departments accountable for each measure it listed.

The work plan asked community workers to help recovered patients and their families return to their normal lives and prevent stigma around the disease.

Social service organizations and mental health facilities should be mobilized to provide the bereaved families with social support and psychological counseling services as a way to help them handle the grief, the work plan said.

In hard-hit regions particularly Hubei and its provincial capital Wuhan, special work teams composed of mental health professionals, social workers and volunteers should be set up for the purposes, according to the work plan.

Highlighting care for the psychological wellbeing of those working in the front line, it called for efforts to help the general public seek outlets for their unhealthy emotions due to long-term quarantine.

The work plan also pledged financial support for such services, training programs for mental health professionals, social workers and volunteers, and protection for the privacy of those receiving mental counseling.

The Chinese mainland reported no new confirmed indigenous cases of the novel coronavirus Wednesday, the National Health Commission said in its daily report Thursday.

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