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Community Ment Health J. 2018 Aug;54(6):757-764. doi: 10.1007/s10597-017-0182-z. Epub 2017 Nov 28.

Mental Health in China: Stigma, Family Obligations, and the Potential of Peer Support.

Author information

1
Peers for Progress and Department of Health Behavior, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Rosenau Hall, CB #7440, Chapel Hill, NC, 27599-7440, USA.
2
Peers for Progress and Department of Health Behavior, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Rosenau Hall, CB #7440, Chapel Hill, NC, 27599-7440, USA. kowitt@email.unc.edu.
3
School of Mental Health and Institute of Behavioral Medicine, Jining Medical University, No. 16 Hehua Rd. Taibaihu New District, Jining, 272067, Shandong, China. ligongying2005@126.com.
4
School of Mental Health and Institute of Behavioral Medicine, Jining Medical University, No. 16 Hehua Rd. Taibaihu New District, Jining, 272013, Shandong, China. ligongying2005@126.com.
5
The Second Affiliated Hospital, Jining Medical University, North Dai Zhuang, Rencheng District, Jining, 272051, Shandong, China. ligongying2005@126.com.

Abstract

Some people with mental illness in China do not receive treatment. We explored how stigma and familial obligation influenced accessibility of social support for patients with depression in China and the potential acceptability of peer support programs. Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with five psychiatrists and 16 patients receiving care for depression from a large psychiatric hospital in Jining, Shandong Province of China. Patients with mental illness reported barriers that prevented them from (a) receiving treatment and (b) relying on informal social support from family members, including stigma, somatization, and community norms. Circumventing these barriers, peer support (i.e., support from others with depression) was viewed by patients as an acceptable means of exchanging information and relying on others for support. Formative research on peer support programs to examine programming and activities may help reduce the burden of unmet mental health care needs in China.

KEYWORDS:

China; Depression; Mental health; Peer support; Stigma

PMID:
29185152
DOI:
10.1007/s10597-017-0182-z
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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