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Stigmatized for his bipolar disorder and unable to find help, Chen Wei created China’s first depression support group.

Chen Wei was a successful businessman until he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2003. Not happy with the services available, he founded China’s first support group for people suffering from depression. In a country with widespread stigma around mental illness, it was a difficult move. His parents feared for his future. But the needs are great: some 6 percent of China’s population of 1.2 billion people suffer from depression.

“I think that maybe in 30 years, the public will be well-educated about mental illness. They will know how to deal with it just like they do with a cold”, he said.

Shanshan Chen – Director (China)

Shanshan Chen is a multimedia producer with the London-based Thomson Reuters Foundation (the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters,) and cover under-reported stories in the forms of documentary and photography. She has worked on topics including women’s rights, LGBTI rights, mental health and refugee crises. Before joining the Foundation, Chen studied documentary filmmaking and broadcast journalism in London and Shanghai.

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