level 3

Some Chinese netizens have laughed in recent days about the 'indicators for mental illness' according to the Shanghainese Department of Mental Health, claiming that 'not going to work with no good reason' or 'talking restlessly' are also descriptive of representative in the Chinese parliaments. Nevertheless, this new Shanghai initiative does raise more serious questions on the encounter between "Western" psychology and systems that utilize authoritarian measurements.

 上海市卫生局(Department of Health of the Shanghai municipality)于8月15日下发了《精神疾病防治服务规范》("Standards for services of treatment and prevention of mental illness")。该《规范》指出,上海市社区卫生服务中心(centers of mental health services in the Shanghai municipal communities)将对辖区内[1]连续居住半年及以上者,开展疑似精神疾病患者调查[2]。

在名为《行为异常人员线索调查问题清单》("survey for clues for unusual behavior")的调查问卷中,"无故[3]不上学、不上班、不出家门、不和任何人接触"、"对人过分冷淡,寡言少语[4]、动作慢、什么事情都不做,甚至整天躺在床上"、"过分话多(说个不停)、活动多,到处乱跑"等11个问题成为衡量[5]疑似精神病患者的线索。

《规范》还称,如果回答符合症状[6],调查员应当进一步了写到人的姓名、住址、职业、工作单位等情况。该表将上报[7]各区(县)疾病预防控制精神卫生分中心(county levels centers of mental health services),并告知[8]或亲属。确诊[9]后,患者信息将录入上海市精神卫生信息管理系统("information management system of 'Shanghai mental health'")。

关于调查内容的准确性[10],华东师范大学心理与认知科学学院副教授(associate professor of the School of Psychology and Cognitive Sciences at East China Normal University)李国瑞表示,这些症状从单个看来,不能认定一个人为精神病患者[11]。上海大邦律师事务所(Shanghai's 'Dabang' lawyer's office)的丁金坤律师认为,调查的内容并不是医学术语[12],标准模糊[13],在实际调查中容易侵犯私权[14]。

在2010年世博会(World Expo)期间,上海社区开始对重性[15]精神病患者进行过登记信息、协助管理[16],但目前该中心还未收到对疑似患者开展调查的通知。

The Department of Health of the Shanghai municipality issued the "Standards for services of treatment and prevention of mental illness". These standards indicate that the centers of mental health services in the Shanghai municipal communities can monitor and examine people who are suspected to suffer from mental illness, among residents who have been living for more than six months in their areas of jurisdiction.

This survey questionnaire "survey for clues for unusual behavior", includes 'unexpectedly missing school, work, staying at home, not coming in contact with others', 'acting very cold to people, being taciturn, moving slowly, doing nothing and even lying in bed the entire day', 'talking nonstop, hyperactive, acting chaotically' and altogether 11 conditions as indicators of one's possible mental illness.

These 'standards' state that if one's answers indicate upon negative symptoms, the examiner ought to advance and write the person's full name, address, profession, job location and other details. He shall then report these details to a higher level of the 'center for mental health, prevention and control of mental illness' in his county. He must also inform the person and or his/her family of the diagnosis and procedure. After a complete diagnosis, the details of the 'patient' will enter the information management system of 'Shanghai mental health'.

Concerning the accuracy of this form of survey, associate professor of the School of Psychology and Cognitive Sciences at East China Normal University, Li Guorui, says that the symptoms pointed out by the survey still cannot confirm that a respondent suffers from mental illness. Lawyer Ding Jinkun of Shanghai's 'Dabang' lawyer's office believes that the content of questionnaire is not scientific medically, the standards are vague and in practice this survey might violate personal rights.

In the period of the World Expo in 2010, Shanghai began to reach a higher level of information supervision and assistance management for severe mental health patients, but until today it has still not received a notice for examination of 'suspected patients'.

Original article published by 财新网

[1] 辖区内 - area under jurisdiction

[2] 疑似精神疾病患者调查 - survey for symptoms of suspected mental illness

[3] 无故 - without reason

[4]寡言少语 - taciturn, talk little

[5] 衡量 - measurement

[6] 症状 - symptom

[7] 上报 - report to higher level

[8] 患者 - patient

[9] 确诊 - diagnosis

[10] 准确性 - accuracy

[11] 精神病患者 - mental illness patient

[12] 医学术语 - medical terminology, scientific

[13] 模糊 - vague

[14] 侵犯私权 - violation of personal rights

[15] 重性 - severe

[16]协助管理 - management of help, of assistance