Help­ing stu­dents ad­dress men­tal health

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI - By WANG HONGYI

wanghongyi@ chi­nadaily.com.cn

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.

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