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After epidemic, mental health of key groups in focus
October 12,2020   By:chinadaily.com.cn
Oct.12,2020 -- China's top health authority on Saturday called for consistent efforts to address mental health issues arising from the COVID-19 epidemic.
 
Li Bin, vice-minister of the National Health Commission, said intensified efforts will be devoted to providing psychological care for key groups - including recovered COVID-19 patients who are more prone to develop mental illnesses- while strengthening overall mental health care in the country.
 
He spoke during an event held in Beijing on Saturday to celebrate the 29th World Mental Health Day, which falls on Oct.10 annually.
 
Li said that during the height of the outbreak, a total of 430 psychiatric and mental health workers were dispatched to Hubei province, the hardest-hit region in China, to deliver services.
 
Nationwide, 667 hotlines dedicated to meeting rising demands for mental health care were set up, handling about 630,000 requests as of September 24, according to the commission.
 
As the epidemic has been brought under control in China, Lu Lin, president of the Peking University Sixth Hospital, called attention to discrimination against recovered COVID-19 patients during the event.
 
"It is estimated that about half of all recovered patients in Wuhan, Hubei province, are unable to fully return to normal lives due to discrimination, such as being refused by other family members to dine together," he said. "More efforts are needed to advocate against stigma and eliminate such discrimination."
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