Living Library: Stories in the Psychiatric Department

Name of the activity: Living Library: Stories in the Psychiatric Department

Country/NMO: China (IFMSA-China)

Program: Teaching Medical Skills

Type of the activity: Education. Education on health issues for specific societal groups, either in the form of projects (set of tasks for a certain group over a fixed period of time), events (something notable that happens) or conferences (form meeting about ideas related to a particular topic, usually over several days).

General description:

In China, where the concept of mental health has not been fully popularized. For those students who are less exposed to mental health concepts, they are not clear about mental health knowledge, and they know little about the work of psychiatrists. Therefore, gathering doctors, medical students and patients with mental illness in psychiatric field as “living books” can help to improve the public’s understanding of mental health, and provide an opportunity for medical students who are interested in this field.

Our event will invite the attending physicians working in the front line of mental health field to face-to-face communication with us, as well as elder students of postgraduate students of similar age in psychiatry, so that we can have a clearer and deeper understanding of the significance of mental health, understand the current state and development of mental health, and approach the lives of mental health professionals to get more rich feelings.

Focus area:

Soft Skills for medical practitioners

Problem statement:

Since mental health disorders have become a serious and costly global health problem, affecting people of various ages, cultures and socio-economic status , people all over the world make a joint to overcome this global problem.However, some students and young people still lack the awareness of the importance of promoting mental health. So we medical students aim to try another way to spread the knowledge of mental health.

Target groups:

Medical students, Healthcare Students


Medical students, Healthcare Students

Objectives and indicators of success:

1.Spread knowledge about mental health disorders in an enjoyable way, and make students be aware of the prevention, control and treatment of mental health problems.

2.Broaden participants’ national and international perspectives , and make students understand the aim of living library :” to read a person and understand a world”.

3.Enhance participants’ understanding of the working environment of Psychiatrists and promote equality and mutual respect among all members of society.

4.Establish a good communication relationship among participants by exchanging their life-related issues and views.

1.More than 50 students get some help from the program.

2.More than 80% of the candidates know how to deal with pressure and keep mental health

3.More than 60% of the candidates feel enjoyable.

4.More than 50% of the candidates have a better understanding of the work of Psychiatrists and may be willing to enter the mental health industry in the near future.


Step 1: Guest teacher’s speech (30 minutes)

Attending doctors from Shanghai Mental Health Center will give lectures on mental health knowledge and the development of mental health to students.

Step 2: Round table –“Living Library”

“Living Library” is a form of Face-to-face communication.

We arrange about 20 people to sit with doctors and other guests together around a round table. Some mental illness patients (depression, anxiety, etc.) communicate with participants face to face and share their personal experience.

The following are the topics of different round tables:

Round Table 1: Professionalism of Mental Health Development and Mental Confusion in China Guidance

Round table 2: Introduction of clinical mental health work, personal experience

Round table 3: Patients’ recovery experience from mental illness ——medical experience and life perception

Step 3:Visiting Shanghai Mental Health Center and having a ocular sight of the relationship between psychiatrists and patients.

Plans for evaluation:

1.Post a questionnaire after the activity to monitor if the participants acquired some knowledge and skills during the activity.

2.In the questionnaire, we can give the same questions before and after the activity to see how they respond to the problem differently and evaluate their emotions and mental health statements.

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