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11-year-old mentally-ill Chinese boy He Zili lives chained up like a dog

Young boy with mental disorders has been chained by his family in rural China for years
  • @LindaSharkey

An 11-year old boy lives chained up like a dog by his own family because he suffers from mental disorders.

He Zili injured his head when he was one-year-old and started suffering from mental disorders. According to his family, they had no choice but to restrain him on chains as he had a tendency to attack those around him.

Young Zili is currently being looked after by his physically disabled grandfather and his intellectually handicapped father after his mother died of cancer.


He has been seen walking along his village shackled to his father in the eastern coastal province of Zhejiang. He has also been seen chained to a pillar as his home.

This is an example of how mental disorders are dealt with in rural China. Statistics released this year by China's National Center for Mental Health revealed that in 2009 100 million Chinese suffered from mental illness, including schizophrenia and paranoid psychosis.

Chained Zili is looked after by his paralyzed grandfather as his plays outside their home in China

The figures indicate that in 2009 1 in 13 Chinese had a mental health problem.

Today there are 160 million Chinese suffering from this problem and they have only 1.5 psychiatrists and 2.2 nurses per 100,000 sufferers. Worldwide, there are four psychiatrists and thirteen nurses for every 100,000 people.

Eleven-year-old He Zili sits as he is chained to a pillar at his home in Zhejiang province