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[Recommendations] Mental Health 2020 – Proposal for Tomorrow: Five Perspectives on Mental Health Policy (July 21, 2020)

[Recommendations] Mental Health 2020 – Proposal for Tomorrow:  Five Perspectives on Mental Health Policy (July 21, 2020)

Today, Health and Global Policy Institute (HGPI) presented a policy proposal entitled, “Mental Health 2020 – Proposal for Tomorrow: Five Perspectives on Mental Health Policy.”

Issues related to mental health are having significant effects on modern society in every country and region. A 2017 patient survey found that the number of people with mental disorders in Japan reached approximately 4.193 million people. More people are living with mental disorders than the number of people suffering from what is known as the “Four Major Conventional Diseases” –  namely cancer, stroke, acute myocardial infarction, and diabetes – and their numbers are rising.



In addition to widespread unease in society accompanying large-scale natural disasters such as the Great East Japan Earthquake or pandemics like the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, socioeconomic factors such as employment-related stress or poor home environments that accompany worsening economic situations have been recognized as significant sources of mental illness.Thus, efforts that surpass the field of healthcare and treat mental health as an issue facing all of society are needed.

In recognition of that need, HGPI started the Mental Health Policy Project in FY2019 and has engaged in continuous activities to address issues in this field. In the last fiscal year, we organized an advisory board that included people with mental disorders, their families, and other parties most affected; existing stakeholders; and domestic and international key opinion leaders and related organizations in the field of mental health from government, industry, academia, and civil society. Over our repeated hearings with that advisory board, we crystallized current issues and discussion points in Japan’s mental health policy and explored potential directions for solutions to those issues.

Mental Health 2020 – Proposal for Tomorrow was composed from a neutral standpoint on the current circumstances facing Japan-based discussion points we gathered from discussions and hearings with multi-stakeholders, with a particular focus on the people most affected by mental disorders, to find a way to shape better future mental health policy for those most affected and all members of the public. Based on Mental Health 2020 – Proposal for Tomorrow, we will further deepen our activities for mental health and work towards policy reform by holding repeated opinion exchanges with as many multi-stakeholders as possible moving forward.

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