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[Registration Open] (Hybrid format) The Mental Health Policy Project Public Symposium on Disaster Mental Health: Mental Health Support in Times of Disaster – The Ideal Form of Supporter Collaboration From Emergency Response to Continuous Response (October 10, 2022)

[Registration Open] (Hybrid format) The Mental Health Policy Project Public Symposium on Disaster Mental Health: Mental Health Support in Times of Disaster – The Ideal Form of Supporter Collaboration From Emergency Response to Continuous Response (October 10, 2022)

On the national holiday on Monday, October 10, 2022, Health and Global Policy Institute (HGPI) will mark the occasion of World Mental Health Day by hosting a public symposium titled, “Mental Health Support in Times of Disaster – The Ideal Form of Supporter Collaboration From Emergency Response to Continuous Response.” It will be held in a hybrid format with a live event at the venue, Comore Yotsuya Tower Conference, with the remote event on Zoom.

This symposium requires advance registration. Interested parties may register using the form linked below.

The program and an event overview can be found below.

 

 

[Event details]

 

[Program] (participants listed in no particular order with titles omitted)

13:00-13:05 Opening remarks and explanatory introduction

  • Shunichiro Kurita (Manager, HGPI)

13:05-13:15 Keynote Lecture 1: “The Features and Special Characteristics of Disaster Mental Health Support”

  • Nahoko Harada (Professor, Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering in Health Systems, Okayama University)

13:15-13:25 Keynote Lecture 2: “Current Circumstances and Issues in Disaster Mental Health Support: Focusing on the Transition From the Emergency Phase to the Recovery and Reconstruction Phases”

  • Tetsushi Tsujimoto (Chairman, Japanese Association of National Mental Health and Welfare Center Directors)

13:30-13:40 Keynote Lecture 3: “Multi-organizational Collaboration in Times of Disaster – Current Circumstances and Issues for Public-Private Collaboration”

  • Koji Kiwaki (Member, Japanese Association of Public Health Center Directors; Director, Yatsushiro Public Health Center, Kumamoto Prefecture)

13:40-14:00 Relay talk: “Initiatives for and Challenges in Disaster Mental Health Support”

  • Akiko Shimoda(Representative, Psychological Service Office Greenfield)

    Hiroshi Suita (Head, Japan CSR, Global CSR & Partnership Strategy, Global Corporate Affairs, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited)

    Taku Sugano (Associate Professor, Graduate School of Literature and Human Sciences Human Behavioral Sciences Course, Osaka Metropolitan University)

    Shizuku Sudou (The Kumamoto Association of the Developmental Disabled Little bit)

  • Tetsuya Myojo (Executive Director, Japan Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster)

    Yuhei Yamada (Porque, the Organization of Persons with Psychosocial Disabilities)

14:05-15:00 Panel discussion: “Steps for Providing Seamless Disaster Mental Health Support”

Panelists:

  • Kouji Kiwaki

    Akiko Shimoda

    Hiroshi Suita

    Taku Sugano

    Shizuku Sudou

    Tetsushi Tsujimoto

    Nahoko Harada

    Tetsuya Myojo

    Yuhei Yamada

Moderator:

  • Kai Shigeno (Associate, HGPI)

 

[Overview]

The HGPI Mental Health Policy Project was launched in FY2019 with the belief that mental health policy encompasses the stages of mental illnesses and disorders that require continuous support from professionals in medical, health, and welfare services, as well as mental health challenges that can make life feel like a minor yet constant struggle. In 2020, the project presented comprehensive mental health policy recommendations titled, “Mental Health 2020: Proposal for Tomorrow.” Those recommendations outline how to best structure mental health policy in terms of five perspectives: literacy, the healthcare provision system, infrastructures for community living, evidence, and multi-stakeholder engagement.

Japan is known as a country that is prone to natural disasters, and its citizens cannot live with peace of mind without disaster preparedness. This can be considered highly significant from the perspective of developing “infrastructures for community living,” a perspective in the policy recommendations mentioned above. Recognizing this, the Mental Health Policy Project began holding discussions for disaster mental health in FY2020, starting with the “Expert Meeting on Community Building for Disaster Mental Health.” In FY2021, we gathered examples of measures for disaster mental health implemented by local governments and examined how those measures can be best applied in the future. In addition to publicizing examples gathered over the previous fiscal year on a global scale and in multiple languages, under the theme “Mental Health Support in Times of Disaster – The Ideal Form of Supporter Collaboration From Emergency Response to Continuous Response” and based on the premise that anyone can be affected by a disaster, our FY2022 objective is to arrange discussion points and examine future next steps for building a system that offers seamless support across phases. In addition to support that aims to secure life and safety during the emergency phase, it would encompass support that is necessary to enable continued living in disaster-stricken areas and facilitate reconstruction.

Establishing an integrated mental health support system that transcends organizations and positions will be essential for enabling all people to be able to maintain mental well-being in times of disaster. Just as no two disasters are the same, no two people have the same criteria for what constitutes a state of mental distress. For people to be able to maintain familiar lifestyles in familiar communities even when faced with disasters, organizing past disaster responses from the perspective of mental health to prepare for unforeseen disasters will be a critical step for improving infrastructures for community living in Japan.

From that perspective, this symposium will examine transitions between disaster phases from the viewpoints of community members and mental health professionals, with a particular focus on challenges facing collaboration when transitioning from the emergency phase to the phases for recovery and reconstruction. We will also examine groups who require support by their characteristics to discuss how issues facing support differ for each group. Through these discussions, based on the premise that everyone has the chance of someday experiencing a mental health-related challenge, we will organize discussion points on how to best implement disaster mental health measures in communities. We will also examine next steps for creating a system for seamless collaboration and implementing those measures in a consistent manner so people can live true to themselves, even in times of disaster.

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