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Tipsters offered money for reporting abnormal behaviors

Updated: 2016-07-19 07:30
By Huang Zhiling in Chengdu (China Daily)

A district in Chengdu, Sichuan province, is offering money to people who report other people exhibiting "abnormal" behavior.

The Shuangliu district health and family planning commission said in a micro blog post that the 50 yuan ($7) award would be increased by 300 yuan if the person was diagnosed as mentally ill.

The abnormal behaviors listed include talking nonsense, brawling, smashing objects, beating people without any reason and even doing nothing or lying in bed all day.

Feng Changfu, head of the Shuangliu commission, said the award was aimed at helping mental patients obtain early treatment.

"It is in line with the principle of coping with mental disorders by finding and treating mental patients early to ensure rehabilitation," he said.

Feng said medics specializing in mental illness would evaluate the person.

Wang Bo, an information officer at the Chengdu health and family planning commission, said many family members of mental patients do not report abnormal behavior out of fear their families will be discriminated against.

"It could delay treatment and patients might then pose a threat to society," he said.

Reporting abnormal behavior does not violate the law, though it is illegal to disclose the personal information of mental patients.

Xu Bin, a lawyer at Junyi Law Office in Chengdu, said the government cannot force mental patients to seek treatment.

The proposal prompted discussion online, with one netizen even asking if he could be considered insane if he stayed at home all day playing computer games.

According to a report by Guangzhou Daily in December, 180 million Chinese suffer from mental problems, but nearly 158 million of them have never received professional treatment.


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