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China's first mental institutions were introduced before 1949 by Western missionaries. After the establishment of the People's Republic of China, the treatment model was indigenized during 1949-1963. During the Cultural Revolution (1964-1976) strong political control governed diagnosis and treatment as well as detention and discharge of mental patients. Later, due to the modernization and reform advocated by Deng Xiaoping, western models of treatment and rehabilitation were gradually introduced by psychiatrists.
Currently, dilemmas such as human rights versus political control, community integration versus community control, diversity versus centraly, huge demand but inadequate services seem to challenge the further development of the mental health service in the PRC.
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