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[Event Report] Non-partisan Diet Member Briefing – 30-minute Health Policy Update: “Considering Children’s Mental Health – Issues in Classrooms and Stress Management” (March 9, 2023)

[Event Report] Non-partisan Diet Member Briefing – 30-minute Health Policy Update: “Considering Children’s Mental Health – Issues in Classrooms and Stress Management” (March 9, 2023)

Health and Global Policy Institute (HGPI) hosted an installment of 30-minute Health Policy Update, a series of briefings for Diet Members on key health policy issues. This installment was titled, “Considering Children’s Mental Health – Issues in Classrooms and Stress Management.”

This installment featured a lecture from Professor Hironori Shimada, who serves as a member of the Faculty of Human Sciences at Waseda University and as Chairman of the Japan Society of Stress Management. Speaking on the topic of stress management for children, Professor Shimada discussed underlying factors for stress among children, examined trends in recent years, and provided an overview of stress reactions and methods of noticing and responding to stress. He also introduced recent policy trends, issues facing schools and families, and a vision for the future direction to take to address those issues.

The Diet Members in attendance participated in an active exchange of opinions during the question-and-answer session following the lecture, and many questions and opinions were shared.

<Key points of the lecture>

  • The importance of providing children with stress management education is widely recognized and efforts are currently underway to establish scientific evidence, legislation, and guidelines for schools on stress management education.
  • The curriculum that must be covered in classrooms includes a vast amount of information across many subjects, so there is little room to expand it with new content on stress management.
  • Educators are currently managing this need by setting aside time during health and physical education or through integrative learning and special activities, but there is room for it to be included in a wide range of other subjects. It will be necessary to examine methods of incorporating stress management education into the curriculum with a holistic view.
  • Efforts to distribute tablets and other tools to all children and students are advancing as part of the GIGA School Program. It is feasible to consider expanding the use of these tools beyond traditional lectures and other educational content provided by teachers to include other uses of ICT. For example, it may be possible to use them to conduct stress level tests like the ones currently being administered to adults. Such measures should be given ample consideration moving forward.


[Program] (titles omitted)

Explanatory introduction
Shunichiro Kurita (Manager, HGPI)

Opening remarks
Shuhei Aoyama
(Member, House of Representatives)

Lecture: Stress Management for Children and Challenges in Classrooms
Hironori Shimada
 (Professor, Faculty of Human Sciences, Waseda University; Chairman, Japan Society of Stress Management)

Designated remarks
Takae Ito (Member, House of Councillors)

Mizuho Umemura (Member, House of Councillors)

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