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date: 18 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

China is one of the countries of the world currently confronting the severest population ageing. Improving older people’s life quality, including mental health, has been put on the agenda and calls for efforts from the whole of society. Recently, more and more investment from geropsychology has been concentrated on the mental health of older people. In this chapter, the epidemiologic characteristics and risk factors of some mental health problems, such as depression and dementia, are described. Research and practice concerning social support, which is regarded as an important protective factor, are introduced. Two sources of social support are discussed: informal family support and formal support from the government and social organizations. Family support has always played a critical role in maintaining older adults’ mental health in mainland China. In contrast, support from the government is just beginning to grow, but will play an indispensable role in the future. Social organizations, especially NGOs, could offer support to the government with mental health care for older people.

Keywords: China, population ageing, geropsychology, mental health, social support

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