Chinese students studying at U.S. universities should pay more attention to their mental health conditions, a medical professor said Wednesday.
Yongjian Geng, professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, told Xinhua that Chinese students and their parents sometimes ignore the students' mental health conditions, which can be dangerous and lead to disastrous results.
"Chinese students commonly describe huge pressure and self-denial. This kind of negative feeling may cause mental problems," he said, giving the example of a Chinese student who collapsed while defending her thesis due to heavy pressure and nervousness.
Geng said there are various reasons for mental health problems. How to deal with adaptive challenges in a new environment is a big issue for many overseas Chinese students.
If students have symptoms such as waking up with a start, feeling guilty, having accelerated heartbeat or getting a drumming sound in the ear, they should seek medical help immediately.
Geng said group activities or sports can be a good way to overcome mental health problems. He also said if someone's relatives or friends have depression, to try to avoid getting into a conflict with them. "Being a good listener always helps," he said.
In 2016, there were over half a million Chinese students studying abroad, with more than 300,000 of them based in the United States.
A survey by Yale researchers in 2013 found that 45 percent of Chinese international students on campus reported symptoms of depression, and 29 percent reported symptoms of anxiety.