Support mental healthcare reform in Japan sign now

Japan currently provides mental health services almost entirely through an inpatient service provision and still has around 2.8 inpatient beds per 1000 population! This is in total contrast to many other countries where the trend towards community based care has predominated and allowed service reform.

However, there is currently a great deal of interest to reform health care provision. Upon request of Mr. Nagatsuma, Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare at that time, Professor Yuji Okazaki, Director of Tokyo Metro Matsuzawa Hospital, inaugurated the Mental Health Policy Council Initiatives (MHPCI) to propose a mental healthcare reform plan. Service users and families will constitute 30 \% of the MHPCI members so as to achieve a reform focused on service users and families.

The main proposals of the MHPCI are (i) to establish a local community mental health team per 100,000 population, made of ten members with different professions who provide mental health counseling and support services without charge, (ii) to implement the reform by, among other things, halving the number of beds in psychiatry, transferring to the specialist service by outreach and lengthening the time of outpatient care from three minutes to 30 minutes, joined by multi-disciplinary professions, and (iii) to reinforce family support by introducing family support workers or otherwise. The MHPCI has also requested establishment of the "Act on Measures concerning Mental Illness" which ranks mental illness as one of the top three diseases based on the DALY values and promotes mental healthcare reform suitable for such diseases.

In this connection, the MHPCI has decided to launch a One-million Signature Campaign, open to the whole world, to achieve the goal of establishing the "Act on Measures concerning Mental Illness," and launched the campaign in end August, aiming to collect the signatures by March 2011.

Support our One-million Signature Campaign!

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Deborah FischerBy:
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Japanese Department of Health

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