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    Shaanxi counselor helps vulnerable groups cope with life

    By Zhang Qiuting | China Daily | Updated: 2019-03-16 09:10
    Duan Xiaopeng helps more than 1,000 bereaved parents and over 200 of them are part of the art troupe he established in 2015 where activities like a spring outing, birthday parties and classes like tai chi and dancing are held. [Photo provided to China Daily]

    Assistance offered to bereaved parents, left-behind children and orphans

    Duan Xiaopeng, 36, the director of Baoji Social Work Association in Shaanxi province, has always been concerned about socially vulnerable groups such as bereaved parents, left-behind children and orphans.

    And despite being convinced that the authorities do their bit to help the less privileged, he tries to do his bit.

    "Government policies fulfill the needs of most people. But I also want to satisfy some personalized needs of our citizens," he says.

    Duan was one of the first licensed psychological consultants in Baoji.

    And in 2008, he rushed to the earthquake-stricken area of Wenchuan in Sichuan province with volunteers to offer post-disaster psychological counseling to soldiers who were rescuing victims and the rescued earthquake victims.

    In 2015, he established an art troupe for parents who had lost their only child.

    Duan believes that if negative emotions like loneliness, emptiness and self-destruction are left unresolved, extreme anti-social behaviors or suicide may be caused.

    Besides, he also focuses on psychological problems like depression and anxiety stemming from work pressure, family conflicts and interpersonal relationships.

    Seeing people around him suffering from psychological distress and mental illness in his childhood, Duan was determined to devote himself to providing psychological help to people to prevent mental diseases.

    And 10 years of experience has made him realize that mental health is important for social stability and people's happiness.

    "We must stifle evil thoughts like committing suicide in the budding stage." says Duan.

    During the recent Spring Festival celebrations, a New Year Gala was held at Baoji for bereaved parents. And a folk dance, tai chi, hulusi, and a qipao show were put up by the elderly.

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