, titled "The Darkest Corners," details the grim conditions and human rights abuses faced by people who are committed to psychiatric care against their will, even if they do not pose a demonstrable threat of harm to themselves or to others.
"[Such individuals] are denied the right to make decisions regarding their own fate, including admission, discharge, and treatment," CHRD said in an e-mailed statement. "Forced medical treatment, violence, and mistreatment occur frequently."
It said psychiatric care facilities frequently restrict or prevent patients from communicating with the outside world, including their relatives and lawyers, and assume that patients relatives have the right to direct their treatment, even if the person is still quite capable of thinking for themselves.
Under the Chinese mental health system, patients have no right to independent reviews upon admission or during their time in psychiatric hospitals, and the judicial system is unwilling to handle cases brought by former psychiatric patients.
The report cited the case of Fujian website editor Cheng Tianfu, who was reportedly kidnapped by a group of psychiatric healthcare workers in a van in January, 2008, while on his way to the train station to catch a train to Beijing.
"During his one-month detention in the hospital, Cheng was subjected to electric shocks and forcibly medicated," CHRD said. "Only when Cheng’s family consented to his discharge was he allowed to leave the hospital."
Chinas rapid economic growth and deepening social inequalities are ramping up stress across the population, with urban white-collar workers, high-flyers, and young people all seeking psychological help in unprecedented numbers, mental health professionals say.
Even the medically-based psychiatric profession was virtually nonexistent until well after the Cultural Revolution (1966-76) had ended, and psychologists were almost unheard of until about a decade ago.
Meanwhile, Wang Wanxing, founder of the