Crossing the river stone by stone : developing an expanded school mental health network in post-quake Sichuan

Boon Wee Timothy Sim

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


This paper chronicles and consolidates my personal experience and professional journey in China in the past one year after the 512 Sichuan earthquake erupted on 12 May 2008. Several summer children projects I helped to organize had evolved into an expanded school mental health network. As I critically reflect on the pertinent issues in developing professional school social work practice in Sichuan, I shall also outline the challenges and opportunities of relief work in China’s context, drawing from the systems perspective. Maximizing available local resources and facilitating the natural development of support network seems to be a useful approach in disaster recoverywork. Furthermore, the need for professionals, especially outsiders, to be respectful and be culturally sensitive is valuable.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-177
Number of pages13
JournalChina Journal of Social Work
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2009


  • Disaster management
  • Sichuan earthquake
  • School social work
  • China
  • Chinese students
  • Cultural sensitivity
  • Resilience
  • Child well-being
  • Strengths perspective

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science

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