Helping students address mental health
A textbook designed to provide college students with a better understanding of how important mental health is to their overall well-being will be available soon in Shanghai to promote psychological education.
In recent years, psychological issues among students have drawn increasing attention in China. Incidents of campus violence and reports of suicide have frequently appeared in the country’s media.
The book was published by Shanghai Education Publishing House and developed by a group of psychological experts from more than 10 universities in the city.
The book will be used for the universities’ optional courses. Its content includes college students’ self-consciousness, career planning, interpersonal skills, love psychology, stress management and dealing with setbacks.
In addition to psychological theories and knowledge, the book also includes real-life cases with professional analysis and advisement from psychological experts.
“The textbook is much more than a mere knowledge delivery. It gives feedbacks to students’ various psychological trouble. Meanwhile, it provides a series of guidance for a student’s life and study,” said Zhang Haiyan, vice-director of Shanghai Students Mental Health Education Development Center.
“The psychological wellbeing education should focus on students’ lifetime development. It aims to help develop sound personality of young students,” Zhang said.
One of the most shocking cases happened in 2013 when a medical-school student from Shanghai-based Fudan University added a highly toxic chemical to the water dispenser in the dorm room he shared with his roommate. His roommate became sick after drinking the water and died 15 days later.
In response, educational authorities across the country have strengthened their effort to address students’ psychological level.
Universities in Shanghai have established a comprehensive psychological crisis intervention system, which aims for earlier detection of mental-health problems and provide effective intervention.
Meanwhile, more than 60 higher-education institutions in Shanghai have already opened psychology courses to promote an awareness of mental health.
The city’s Tongji University has been running a psychological support program. Under the pilot program, information about a student’s psychological condition and the potential need for psychological services are collected when they register for study.
“The program helps us more effectively identify which students are more in need of psychological care, and it has produced some good results,” said Zhao Xudong, a professor at Tongji University and a doctor with the Department of Psychosomatic Medicine of Shanghai East Hospital.
The program is expected to expand to all Shanghai’s universities.