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[Event Report] Child Health Project Expert Meeting: Building a Mental Health Education Program and Support System that Respects Children’s Rights The First Expert Meeting: A Life Course Approach to Children’s Mental Health (December 16, 2021)

[Event Report] Child Health Project Expert Meeting: Building a Mental Health Education Program and Support System that Respects Children’s Rights The First Expert Meeting: A Life Course Approach to Children’s Mental Health (December 16, 2021)

The COVID-19 pandemic has drawn attention to children’s mental health around the world. In May 2020, the United Nations released a report on children’s mental health in the context of the pandemic. According to the report, restrictions in several countries have been associated with changes in children’s concentration, emotional stability, and nervousness. In Japan, the National Center for Child Health and Development’s “National Online Survey of Children’s Well-being During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Japan (Part 4)” found that, out of all the respondents, 15% of elementary school students (grades 4–6), 24% of junior high school students, and 30% of high school students had symptoms of depression. The findings highlighted the effects of COVID-19 on children’s mental health and reiterated the urgency of the issue. In addition to mental health, the state of child and maternal health care has recently emerged as a major theme in healthcare policy issues. All pregnant and nursing mothers must receive seamless medical care, welfare, and support from pregnancy to child-rearing, and children, from birth to adulthood.

In order to promote this social momentum and to contribute to the health of children in Japan, we launched the Child Health Project in 2020. The project aims to stimulate discussion in collaboration with domestic and international stakeholders and to make policy proposals based on evidence generated through research. In 2021, we started an initiative on children’s mental health to build on the knowledge gained through HGPI’s Mental Health Project. The initiative, “Building a Mental Health Education Program and Support System that Respects Children’s Rights,” aims to develop and test the effectiveness of a program to help children, mainly elementary and junior high school students, recognize and cope with their own mental health challenges and be able to ask for help when needed. In addition, we will examine concrete measures to prevent mental health problems by taking children’s voices seriously and respecting their right to advocate for themselves.

In this expert meeting, various stakeholders will discuss the policy issues surrounding child health and children’s mental health, as well as potential solutions. In the first session, we discussed the importance of providing comprehensive support for children’s mental health following the life course approach.

*A report on the kick-off symposium will be published online at a future date.

 

Overview

  • Time: Thursday, December 16, 2021 from 18:00-20:00
  • Location: Zoom Webinar
  • Host: Health and Global Policy Institute (HGPI)
  • With support from: The Nippon Foundation
  • Languages: Japanese only


■ Program (Titles omitted)

18:00-18:05 Opening Remarks

18:05-18:25 Keynote Speech (1) Realizing a Society that Puts Children First
 Hanako Jimi (Member of the House of Councillors / Pediatrician)

18:25-18:55 Keynote Speech (2) Perspectives on a Society that Nurtures Children’s Mental Health – The Life Course Approach
 Yoko Kamio (Visiting Professor, Institute for Education and Human Development, Ochanomizu University)

19:00-20:00 Panel Discussion “Building a Mental Health Education and Support System for Children – A Life Course Perspective”
Panelists:
 Shinichi Ishikawa (Professor, Faculty of Psychology, Doshisha University)
 Yasutaka Ojio (Researcher, National Institute of Mental Health, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry)
 Ayako Kanie (Visiting Researcher, National Center for Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Research, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry / Senior Medical Advisor, JOLLY GOOD, Inc.)
 Masaki Kojima (Psychiatry Officer, Mental Health and Disability Health Division, Department of Health and Welfare for Persons with Disabilities, Social Welfare and Victim’s Bureau, Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare)
 Yoko Kamio

Moderator:
 Eri Yoshimura (Senior Manager, Health and Global Policy Institute)

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