Psychologist George Hu of the United Family Mental Health Network on mental health in China


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This week on Sinica, Kaiser and Jeremy discuss mental health in China with George Hu, a Shanghai-based clinical psychologist who serves as president of the Shanghai International Mental Health Association and leads the United Family Mental Health Network. George describes how American ideas of psychiatry and psychology have shaped the way Chinese mental health professionals understand mental wellness and mental distress, resulting in the importation of approaches to diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders that may not always be the best fit with China’s cultural, sociological, and historical realities.

5:14: – Trying to assess the scale of mental illness in China

9:45 – How mental health is diagnosed and classified in China

19:00 – Mental health and the extraordinary competitiveness of life in China

28:09 – The growing focus on the intersection between culture and mental health in China

37:21 – Issues faced by American students in China

46:17 – Mental health and the COVID-19 pandemic

50:42 – Bicultural therapy

A transcript of this interview is available on


Jeremy: Entangled LifeHow Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures

by Merlin Sheldrake

George: Crazy Like Us: The Globalization of the American Psyche by Ethan Watters

Kaiser: Awakening from Dukkha from the Inner Mongolian band Nine Treasures