China Passes First Mental Health Law

The video for this lesson contains time sensitive information. Developments in the project discussed in the video which occurred after the release date are not covered in the video or this curriculum. See “Follow-Up Assignments” below for a way of addressing this fact in your lesson plan.

Lesson Title

China Passes First Mental Health Law

Video title, link and release date

China Passes First Mental Health Law, March 14, 2013

Video Length

Two minutes and twenty-four seconds

Grade Level

High school


  • On October 19th, China passed its first national law protecting the rights of the roughly 100 million people with disabilities in the nation.
  • The legislation sets a number of new requirements for mental health providers:
    1. Mental institutions must protect their patients’ private health records.
    2. Hospitals must provide counseling services and set up outpatient clinics.
    3. Patients now have the right to independent review along with new national procedures regarding involuntary treatment.
  • Historically, China has been known for its cultural and institutional stigma against those with mental illnesses.

  • China has come under fire from the international community for its use of mental institutions to confine political dissidents.


Review Questions:

1. Does China have a robust set of rights for people with mental illnesses?

2. What is the general cultural attitude in China towards disability?

Freewriting “Journal” Prompt:

What about this report do you have questions about?

Based on what you already know about China/what you read in this report, why do you think China has taken so long to pass this kind of legislation?

What do you want to know more about?

Will is the editor for the Galaxy Awareness and History pages as well as one of our pollsters. He is a sophomore at Seattle University majoring in philosophy. His home is La Crosse Wisconsin.