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[Activity Report] HGPI Mental Health Policy Project to Assess State of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) Use in Japan and Examine Systems for Contributing to the Future Dissemination of CBT and CBT-based Practices as Part of Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare Project

Efforts for mental health policy have been underway at Health and Global Policy Institute (HGPI) through its Mental Health Policy Project which began in FY2019.
This project has gathered various parties from the field of mental health including people affected by mental disorders, opinion leaders, and related organizations from industry, government, academia, and civil society from Japan and overseas to participate in expert meetings. At those meetings, we are working to identify issues and discussion points within the current circumstances surrounding mental health policy and to examine approaches to solving those issues. Through those efforts, we have considered methods for improving mental health policy for people affected by mental disorders and the public which formed the basis of a non-partisan document which, in its current state, is a policy proposal. Our proposal is entitled “Mental Health 2020 – Proposal for Tomorrow” and was presented on July 21, 2020.

As part of the Mental Health Policy Project, HGPI will examine the situation surrounding the use of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and forms of support based on CBT in Japan. We will also examine systems that can contribute to the dissemination of CBT and CBT-based practices in the future. Our project will be conducted as part of the FY2020 Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare Project for the Promotion of Comprehensive Welfare for Persons with Disabilities (Third Stage).

CBT is a form of psychotherapy that aims to improve mood by modifying ways of thinking and behavior patterns to ones that are more healthy or that lead to problem-solving. CBT is based on a cognitive-behavioral model in which mood and behavior are influenced by people’s perception (or cognition). It has been shown to be effective at treating and preventing the recurrence of various mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, and stress-related disorders, and has been recommended as a standard form of treatment in guidelines from both Japan and other countries.

Our upcoming project will analyze and verify the effects of past CBT training programs conducted by the MHLW to identify issues with those programs and to examine ways to contribute to establishing future systems for disseminating CBT and training people in CBT.

In the future, HGPI will advance discussions on this theme based on past analyses together with those most affected, opinion leaders in this field, and relevant organizations from industry, government, academia, and civil society from Japan and abroad. We will then formulate and present a proposal on the best methods of implementing CBT in Japan.

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