The Japanese Society of Psychiatry and Neurology


Statement on Reconstruction Efforts

Update: March 11, 2014

Statement by the Japanese Society of Psychiatry and Neurology on Reconstruction Efforts related to the Eastern Japan Earthquake / Tsunami Disaster

May 21, 2011

The Japanese Society of Psychiatry and Neurology hereby announces the following statement in conjunction with the holding of workshops on mental health support and reconstruction assistance measures related to the Eastern Japan Earthquake/Tsunami Disaster.

Mental health is a national asset, and a treasure. The Society considers it essential that any reconstruction program incorporate the recreation of safe, secure communities through rebuilding of the psychiatric medical, health, and welfare systems lost due to the present disaster.

(1) The Society believes that it is vital to implement support measures both for people with mental illness and for psychiatric and welfare facilities in areas affected by the disaster, and provide community psychiatric services in line with local needs. In addition, it is necessary to create a system that can secure human resources in affected areas and deliver community health and welfare services.

Specific measures include:

  1. The establishment of measures that would provide for long-term reductions or waivers of hospitalization and outpatient fees for persons affected by the disaster.
  2. The prompt implementation of measures to secure transportation means for persons requiring outpatient medical care in the disaster region, as well as to provide transitional living facilities, such as toilet facilities and group homes.
  3. The establishment of measures in support of both personnel and economic rebuilding efforts for psychiatric facilities damaged in the disaster.
  4. In areas where psychiatric care resources have been destroyed, create systems for the temporary delivery of medical care; these systems would be adjusted according to the pace of reconstruction, and would incorporate facilities provisionally called “Disaster Stress Clinics.”
  5. Secure personnel such as public health nurses and psychiatric social workers in accordance with community conditions and needs, and also provide assistance via multidisciplinary teams that travel to local communities and conduct on-site support activities.

(2) The Society considers it essential to:

Establish university courses on “Psychiatric Support in Disasters.”
Secure the human resources necessary to ensure the realization of community psychiatric care and long-term support for mental health care, and conduct assessments to determine the fitness of those support methods.
Secure the position of the discipline of disaster psychiatry and treatment in Japan.
Promote the development of human resources capable of responding to major disasters that may occur in the future.

(3) The Japanese Society of Psychiatry and Neurology will establish a permanent Disaster Response Committee, and, in conjunction with a wide range of collaborating organizations involved with mental health support in times of major disasters, will conduct activities oriented toward supporting the realization of both initial and ongoing response efforts when disasters strike. The Society will also implement regular, ongoing training and drills related to psychiatric support in the event of a disaster.

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