Support groups and mental health resources for new parents in Shanghai

We’ve all heard it takes a village to raise a kid, but how do you begin to find that village in a heaving mega city like Shanghai?

Photograph: Dakota Corbin via Unsplash
Being a new mum or dad is difficult and there’s no shame in needing some support in this crazy city. Whether you’re looking for playgroups and activities to explore new parts of town with the little one, a way to expand your new parent network here or someone to vent to when you think you’re gonna lose it, these Shanghai social groups and resources are here to help for all of that and more.
Shanghai Mamas

Shanghai Mamas

‘When I first arrived in Shanghai, I was on an emotional roller coaster,’ says Laeticia Lemin, president of Shanghai Mamas. ‘I was worried about finding friends, finding care for my son and adjusting to a completely new culture. I joined a Shanghai Mamas coffee morning on my third day and I knew instantly that I’d be okay.’

The Shanghai mum community resource to rule them all, Shanghai Mamas is part events calendar and classifieds, part Shanghai life forum where parents share anything from job vacancies to where to and health care in town. Offline, the volunteer-led community plans IRL activities like group picnics in the park or mum-only nights out to try a new restaurant or bar in town. Visit for more information.

Lifeline Shanghai

Lifeline Shanghai

Lifeline is an English-speaking helpline, which provides free, confidential and anonymous emotional support for anything from the little stresses of daily life to more acute issues. After someone calls in, hotline assistants
help by suggesting additional services in Shanghai or simply by listening. Along with the telephone hotline, Lifeline also has a series of in-person workshops and events around town. Call between 10am and 10pm, 365 days a year.

Call 6279 8990 or visit for more information.


Essential Learning Group (ELG)

A social enterprise that aims to help kids with special needs, Essential Learning Group (ELG) offers half- and full-day programmes for children who cannot successfully access the curriculum of a regular school environment, or are in need of early intervention. A part of their mission, however, is offering resources and support for parents too, which includes monthly workshops on topics relating to raising children with special needs.

Read more
19-20, Lane 209 Zhennan Lu

Community Center Shanghai (Jinqiao)

A community-led organisation that offers support to individuals and families adapting to life in Shanghai through events, classes and workshops, Community Center Shanghai (CCS) also has a number of internationally trained, multilingual counsellors on staff and multiple locations across the city. Newcomers to town may find CCS’ practical tours and orientations (like how to navigate water and food safety), volunteer opportunities and weekend outings especially helpful.

Read more
Lane 418 Jinxiu Dong Lu

Read more