I am honored to be appointed as the president of the Japanese Society of Psychiatry and Neurology. Given the long history of our society and many challenges it is currently facing, I brace myself to bear the weight of my responsibility.
The basic principles of our society are: 1) to contribute to the development of psychiatry with ethical considerations; 2) to contribute to qualitative improvements in mental health, psychiatric care, and welfare services while respecting patients’ human rights; and 3) to facilitate mutual learning and inspection among its members. The idea behind this is that improving the quality of psychiatric care and earning the trust of patients and their families in psychiatric care will help reduce stigma in the general public, promote early access to psychiatric care, and consequently improve mental health and welfare.
For the development of psychiatry, our society, through the tireless efforts of its members, has advanced psychiatric research, including registry studies and established relevant ethical guidelines; to facilitate mutual learning and inspection among members, we have established a system to certify specialists, internationalized our society, enhanced its Japanese and English journals, and implemented guideline projects.
Meanwhile, as for qualitative improvements in mental health, psychiatric care, and welfare services, many issues still remain to be addressed, though active discussions have taken place. Among the major issues are dissemination of pioneering approaches, techniques, and technologies in psychiatric care; enhancing workforce capability, including psychiatrists; improving the quality of life of patients in long-term hospitalization and chronic care; developing regional networks to improve access to psychiatric care, including emergency psychiatric services; and respecting human rights, including the issues of seclusion and physical restraint. There are no easy resolutions, but it is important to demonstrate that we are determined to tackle them and how concretely we approach them. In this respect, we should also actively advance mental health initiatives based on partnerships with patients and their families in psychiatric care, such as improving the quality of psychiatric care, promoting mental health, and preventing diseases, as well as disseminate information to the public, offer opinions as professionals, and make recommendations to the government.
In order to contribute to the development of psychiatry, in addition to the promotion of registry and translational studies mentioned above, we also need to promote epidemiological studies, including status surveys on mental health, which are lagging behind in Japan. Furthermore, in relation to mutual learning and inspection among members, we have to address various future challenges, such as certifying subspecialties in the specialist certification system, compiling psychiatry textbooks that serve as a pool of items for the specialist certification examination, promoting awareness-raising activities, including publication, as part of guideline projects, and launching an English sister journal and translating our Japanese journal into English.
Thus, our society is facing a large number of challenges, but we will approach them step by step, with its members fully engaged. I hope that the large increase in the female delegates and young board members will bring in fresh perspectives and, by successfully integrating them with the knowledge and experiences gained so far, lead to its further development.
Your support and cooperation is much appreciated.
The Japanese Society of Psychiatry and Neurology