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Chinese schools to improve mental healthcare

Updated: Aug 12,2015 9:00 AM     Xinhua

China’s Education Ministry has ordered schools to improve mental healthcare for students, but banned compulsory testing or irresponsible labeling of students as “mentally ill”.

The ministry on Aug 11 told primary and middle schools to establish psychological counseling rooms, provide free counseling and record information on students’ mental states.

The counseling room will always be open during school hours. It must have at least one mental health professional, who will enjoy an equal status to a class teacher. The school should also set aside funds for the room’s operation.

Staff should carefully use psychological scaling or other testing methods, the ministry document said. They may not compel students to take any test, nor can they arbitrarily judge that a student has a mental illnesses.

Student information must be kept confidential unless they pose a danger to themselves or others.

Mental health staff will handle “crisis events” and prevent those events from leading to injuries.