Over One Million with Mental Illness in Beijing

September 8, 2006 12:00 am Last Updated: September 8, 2006 12:00 am

TAIPEI—According to a report by China News Agency on September 5, mental illness is quite prevalent in the Beijing area. At present there are over one million patients with various mental or psychological problems in Beijing, but Beijing has only about six hundred practicing psychiatrists.

The report also mentions that on average, each psychiatrist in Beijing provides mental health services to more than 20000 patients. Even if all the registered counselors are included in these figures, it is still far below demand.

According to an investigation performed by representatives of the National People's Congress (NPC) in Beijing, at least 100,000 students suffer from depression, representing about 24 percent of the total student population of Beijing.

Depression is one of the common mental illness in Beijing, with about 3 percent of all residents presenting some symptoms. College students, women, children and old people are most affected. In 2004, 19 college students from Beijing University committed suicide. This represents about 2% of that school's students. The suicide rate among college students in Beijing is about 1.9 per 100,000.

The investigation also revealed that over 12,000 low-income patients in Beijing require medication, but only 30 percent are actually receiving medicine. The remaining 70 percent remained unmedicated and thus represent an unstable factor within society.