Advertisement

Migration and Urban Mental Health in China

Reference work entry
Part of the Mental Health and Illness Worldwide book series (MHIW)

Abstract

In the past 30 years, China has transformed from a rural to an urban society. The combination of massive rural-to-urban migration and rapid in situ urbanization has led to significant changes in cities’ neighborhood composition and characteristics, as well as residents’ lifestyles. Such changes have serious implications for individuals’ mental health. The reported prevalence of mental disorders has increased steadily during the past two decades. Urbanization improves access to health care, which leads to health advantages. In the meanwhile, the dynamic urbanization process has also adversely affected the mental health status of both long-term urban residents and new urbanites. As China’s urbanization continues, the negative mental health effects are expected to increase further. Despite the increasing public health concerns about the population’s mental well-being, resources for mental health services remain scarce and unevenly distributed. Mental health service provision is primarily hospital-based and concentrated in urban centers. People encounter both structural and cultural barriers when seeking professional help for emotional or mental problems. The government recently initiated a community-based mental health service system nationwide that incorporates monitoring, intervention, prevention, and rehabilitation. To be effective, this system should integrate professional and nonprofessional approaches, mental health treatments and family interventions, and online and offline services.

Keywords

China Migration Urbanization Mental health Help seeking Community-based service system Service development Service integration 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The research undertaken for this chapter received funding from the General Research Fund of the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong (PolyU5411/12H) and the Li & Fung China Social Policy Research Fund. The author is grateful for the thoughtful comments from the editors and reviewers.

References

  1. Andersson G, Carlbring P, Berger T (2009) What makes internet therapy work? Cogn Behav Ther 38(1):55–60CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Bell V (2007) Online information, extreme communities and internet therapy: is the internet good for our mental health? J Ment Health 16(4):445–457CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Berger M, Wagner TH, Baker LC (2005) Internet use and stigmatized illness. Soc Sci Med 61(8):1821–1827CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Boey KW (1998) Help-seeking pattern of psychiatric outpatients in urban China. Int J Psychiatr Nurs Res 4(1):433–443PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Chan KW (2013) China, internal migration. In: Ness I, Bellwood P (eds) The encyclopedia of global human migration. Wiley-Blackwell Oxford, HobokenGoogle Scholar
  6. Chen J (2011) Internal migration and health: re-examining the healthy migrant phenomenon in China. Soc Sci Med 72(8):1294–1301CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Chen J (2012) Seeking help for psychological distress in urban China. J Community Psychol 40(3):319–341CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chen J (2013) Chronic conditions and receipt of treatment among urbanized rural residents in China. Biomed Res Int 2013:568959PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  9. Chen J (2017) Some people may need it, but not me, not now: seeking professional help for mental health problems in urban China. Transcult Psychiatry (conditionally accepted)Google Scholar
  10. Chen J, Chen S (2015) Mental health effects of perceived living environment and neighborhood safety in urbanizing China. Habitat Int 46:101–110CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Chen J, Chen S, Landry PF (2013) Migration, environmental hazards, and health outcomes in China. Soc Sci Med 80:85–95CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Chen J, Chen S, Landry PF, Davis DS (2014) How dynamics of urbanization affect physical and mental health in urban China. The China Quart 220:988–1011Google Scholar
  13. Chen J, Chen S, Landry PF (2015a) Urbanization and mental health in China: linking the 2010 population census with a cross-sectional survey. Int J Environ Res Public Health 12(8):9012–9024CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  14. Chen J, Davis DS, Wu K, Dai H (2015b) Life satisfaction in urbanizing China: the effect of city size and pathways to urban residency. Cities 49:88–97CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Chen J, Zhu S (2015) Online information searches and help seeking for mental health problems in urban China. Adm Policy Ment Health Ment Health Serv Res. doi:10.1007/s10488-10015-10657-10486Google Scholar
  16. China, Central Committee of the Communist Party and State Council of (2014) National New-type Urbanization Plan (国家新型城镇化规划) (2014–2020). Retrieved on 8 Oct 2015, from: http://www.gov.cn/zhengce/2014-03/16/content_2640075.htm
  17. China, Internet Network Information Center (CINIC) (2016) The 36th Statistical Report on Internet Development in China. Retrieved on 16 Feb 2016, from: http://www1.cnnic.cn/IDR/ReportDownloads/201601/P020160106496544403584.pdf
  18. China, Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development of (2015) China’s Urban Construction Statistical Yearbook 2014. China Planning Press, BeijingGoogle Scholar
  19. China, National Bureau of Statistics of (2015) China Statistical Yearbook 2015. China Statistics Press, BeijingGoogle Scholar
  20. China, State Council of (2014) Suggestions for Advancing the Reform of the Household Registration System (国务院关于进一步推进户籍制度改革的意见). State Council [2014] No. 25. Retrieved on 30 Oct 2015, from: http://www.gov.cn/zhengce/content/2014-07/30/content_8944.htm
  21. China, State Council of (2015) National Mental Health Working Plan (全国精神卫生工作规划) (2015-2020). State Council [2015] No. 44. Retrieved on 16 Feb 2016, from http://www.nhfpc.gov.cn/jkj/s5888/201506/1e7c77dcfeb4440892b7dfd19fa82bdd.shtml
  22. Dewan S, Riggins FJ (2005) The digital divide: current and future research directions. J Assoc Inf Syst 6(12):298–336Google Scholar
  23. Friedmann J (2005) China’s urban transition. University of Minnesota Press, MinneapolisGoogle Scholar
  24. Gao X, Jackson T, Chen H, Liu Y, Wang R, Qian M, Huang X (2010) There is a long way to go: a nationwide survey of professional training for mental health practitioners in China. Health Policy 95(1):74–81CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Gong AT, Furnham A (2014) Mental health literacy: public knowledge and beliefs about mental disorders in mainland China. PsyCh J 2014(3):144–158CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Gong P, Liang S, Carlton EJ, Jiang Q, Wu J, Wang L, Remais JV (2012) Urbanisation and health in China. Lancet 379(9818):843–852CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  27. Gu L, Xie J, Long J, Chen Q, Chen Q, Pan R, Yan Y, Wu G, Liang B, Tan J, Xie X, Wei B, Su L (2013) Epidemiology of major depressive disorder in mainland China: a systematic review. PLoS One 8(6):e65356CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  28. Guo W-J, Tsang A, Li T, Lee S (2011) Psychiatric epidemiological surveys in China 1960–2010: how real is the increase of mental disorders? Curr Opin Psychiatry 24(4):324–330CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Ho KP, Hunt C, Li SL (2008) Patterns of help-seeking behavior for anxiety disorders among the Chinese speaking Australian community. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol 43(11):872–877CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Horgan A, Sweeney J (2010) Young students’ use of the internet for mental health information and support. J Psychiatr Ment Health Nurs 17(2):117–123CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Kleinman A (1986) Social origins of distress and disease: depression, Neurasthenia, and pain in modern China. Yale University Press, New HavenGoogle Scholar
  32. Kung WW (2004) Cultural and practical barriers to seeking mental health treatment for Chinese Americans. J Community Psychol 32(1):27–43CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Li X, Stanton B, Fang X, Xiong Q, Yu S, Lin D, Hong Y, Zhang L, Chen X, Wang B (2009) Mental health symptoms among rural-to-urban migrants in China: a comparison with their urban and rural counterparts. World Health Popul 11(1):24–38PubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Liu J, Ma H, He Y-L, Xie B, Xu Y-F, Tang H-Y, Li M, Hao W, Wang X-D, Zhang M-Y, Ng C, Goding M, Fraser J, Herrman H, HFK C, Chan S, Chiu E, Yu X (2011) Mental health system in China: history, recent service reform and future challenges. World Psychiatry 10(3):210–216CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  35. Macintyre S, Ellaway A, Cummins S (2002) Place effects on health: how can we conceptualise, operationalise and measure them? Soc Sci Med 55(1):125–139CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Miklowitz DJ (2008) Adjunctive psychotherapy for bipolar disorder: state of the evidence. Am J Psychiatr 165(11):1408–1419CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  37. Mo PKH, Mak WWS (2009) Help-seeking for mental health problems among Chinese: the application and extension of the theory of planned behavior. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol 44(8):675–684CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. Morahan-Martin J, Anderson CD (2000) Information and misinformation online: recommendations for facilitating accurate mental health information retrieval and evaluation. CyberPsychology Behav 3(5):731–746CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Park L, Xiao Z, Worth J, Park JM (2005) Mental health care in China: recent changes and future challenges. Harvard Health Policy Rev 6(2):35–45Google Scholar
  40. Peek MK, Cutchin MP, Freeman D, Stowe RP, Goodwin JS (2009) Environmental hazards and stress: evidence from the Texas City Stress and Health Study. J Epidemiol Community Health 63(10):792–798CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. Phillips MR (1998) The transformation of China’s mental health services. The China J 39:1–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Phillips MR (2013) Can China’s new mental health law substantially reduce the burden of illness attributable to mental disorders? Lancet 381(9882):1964–1966CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. Phillips MR, Zhang J, Shi Q, Song Z, Ding Z, Pang S, Li X, Zhang Y, Wang Z (2009) Prevalence, treatment, and associated disability of mental disorders in four provinces in China during 2001–05: an epidemiological survey. Lancet 373(9680):2041–2053CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. Powell J, Clarke A (2006) Internet information-seeking in mental health: population survey. Br J Psychiatry 189(3):273–277CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. Rea MM, Tompson MC, Miklowitz DJ, Goldstein MJ, Hwang S, Mintz J (2003) Family-focused treatment versus individual treatment for bipolar disorder: results of a randomized clinical trial. J Consult Clin Psychol 71(3):482–492CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  46. Shen Y, Zhang M, Huang Y, He Y, Liu Z, Cheng H, Tsang A, Lee S, Kessler RC (2006) Twelve-month prevalence, severity, and unmet need for treatment of mental disorders in metropolitan China. Psychol Med 36(2):257–267CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  47. Spencer MS, Chen J, Gee GC, Fabian CG, Takeuchi DT (2010) Discrimination and mental health-related service use in a national study of Asian Americans. Am J Public Health 100(12):2410–2417CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  48. Tse S, Ran M-S, Huang Y, Zhu S (2013) The urgency of now: building a recovery-oriented, community mental health service in China. Psychiatr Serv 64(7):613–616CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  49. Wang F-L (2005) Organizing through division and exclusion: China’s Hukou system. Stanford University Press, Palo AltoGoogle Scholar
  50. Wells M, Mitchell KJ, Finkelhor D, Becker-Blease KA (2007) Online mental health treatment: concerns and considerations. CyberPsychol Behav 10(3):453–459CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  51. Wong DFK, Li JCM (2014) Cultural influence on Shanghai Chinese people’s help-seeking for mental health problems: implications for social work practice. Br J Soc Work 44(4):868–885CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Wong DFK, Zhuang XY, Pan J-Y, He XS (2014) A critical review of mental health and mental health-related policies in China: more actions required. Int J Soc Welf 23(2):195–204CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN Habitat) (2010) Hidden cities: unmasking and overcoming health inequities in urban settings. World Health Organization Centre for Health Development (WHO Kobe Centre) and Nairobi, Kenya: United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN Habitat), Kobe, JapanGoogle Scholar
  54. World Health Organization (WHO) World Mental Health Survey Consortium (2004) Prevalence, severity, and unmet need for treatment of mental disorders in the world health organization world mental health surveys. J Am Med Assoc 291(21):2581–2590CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Xiang YT, Xu X, Sartorius N, Ungvari GS, Chiu HFK (2012) Mental health in China: challenges and progress. Lancet 380(9855):1715–1716CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  56. Yang G, Wang Y, Zeng Y, Gao GF, Liang X, Zhou M, Wan X, Yu S, Jiang Y, Naghavi M, Vos T, Wang H, Lopez AD, Murray CJL (2013) Rapid health transition in China, 1990–2010: findings from the global burden of disease study 2010. Lancet 381(9882):1987–2015CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  57. Yeh AGO, Xu J, Liu K (2011) China’s post-reform urbanization: retrospect, policies and trends. International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), LondonGoogle Scholar
  58. Yip K-S (2005a) A historical review of the mental health services in the people’s republic of China. Int J Soc Psychiatry 51(2):106–118CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  59. Yip K-S (2005b) Chinese concepts of mental health: cultural implications for social work practice. Int Soc Work 48(4):391–407CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Yuen L (2013) Unable to cope: China's inadequate care of the mentally Ill. The Atlantic 29 July 2013. Retrieved on 14 May 2015, from: http://www.theatlantic.com/china/archive/2013/07/unable-to-cope-chinas-inadequate-care-of-the-mentally-ill/278170/
  61. Zhang W, Li X, Lin Y, Zhang X, Qu Z, Wang X, Xu H, Jiao A, Guo M, Zhang Y, Li Y, Tian D (2013) Pathways to psychiatric care in urban North China: a general hospital based study. Int J Ment Heal Syst 7:22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Zhu Y-G, Jones KC (2010) Urbanisation and health in China. Lancet 376(9737):232–233CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Applied Social SciencesThe Hong Kong Polytechnic UniversityHung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong SARChina

Personalised recommendations