Report Research & Recommendations

[Research Report] “Online Survey for Reviewing Mental Health 2020 – Proposal for Tomorrow and Identifying Policy Issues in the Field of Mental Health” Report (February 26, 2021)

[Research Report] “Online Survey for Reviewing Mental Health 2020 – Proposal for Tomorrow and Identifying Policy Issues in the Field of Mental Health” Report (February 26, 2021)

Health and Global Policy Institute (HGPI) conducted a public opinion survey to identify priority items for domestic policy in the field of mental health.


Survey background and purpose
In modern society, mental health has been steadily increasing in priority as a policy issue. In Japan, a 2017 patient survey found that approximately 4.193 million people[1], [2] had mental disorders, and their numbers are increasing. Mental disorders and problems related to mental health are caused by a variety of factors. In addition to life transitions and family and work environments,[3] there are also significant factors related to society and the economy that affect mental health. These include anxiety caused by natural disasters or pandemics and financial stress associated with employment and worsening economic conditions. Mental health is not limited to the field of healthcare policy; it spans multiple numerous policy spheres and must be addressed with a broad perspective.

Recognizing issues like these, HGPI has been engaged in a policy project for mental health since 2019. Through discussions with members of its advisory board, which is composed of people with mental disorders, their family members, and related organizations, and through hearings with domestic and overseas experts, HGPI’s Mental Health Policy Project identified numerous issues and discussion points in Japan’s mental health policy. Then, in December 2019, it held a global expert meeting with experts from Japan and abroad to examine international trends in mental health policy and to consider Japan’s next steps. It then summarized the points raised at that meeting and publicized that information among multi-stakeholders in Japan and around the world. Then, in July 2020, HGPI published a policy proposal entitled “Mental Health 2020 – Proposal for Tomorrow: Five Perspectives on Mental Health Policy,” which describes current issues in mental health policy identified through HGPI’s activities to date and illustrates a policy vision for the future.


The purpose of the survey for reviewing Mental Health 2020 – Proposal for Tomorrow was to confirm that HGPI’s recommendations (which were mainly developed through discussions and individual hearings with experts) are consistent with civil society’s perception of mental health policy issues, to identify issues not covered by the recommendations, and to assess priority policy issues in a quantitative manner. It was conducted using an online questionnaire to reach as many stakeholders as possible.


Survey overview
The survey was conducted in two parts (Part 1 and Part 2) and examined priority issues in the field of mental health. The survey process was as follows.

For survey results and more details on survey methodology, please refer to the full survey report. Please note that the full survey report is only available in Japanese.



Key findings

Valid responses
■Part 1 Survey: 455 responses
■Part 2 Survey: 170 responses

Key findings of the Part 2 Survey: Priority issues in each field (top two selections among all responses)

Issue field

Priority issues

Selection rate among all responses

Literacy and education

Improve self-affirmation, resilience, and education on self-care


Foster understanding of prejudice, discrimination, apathy, and diversity


The healthcare provision system (in-hospital care)

Improve the inpatient care-centered nature of the healthcare provision system and the excessive number of care beds and long hospital stays compared to other countries


Build a system for accepting patients with physical complications and promote understanding of physical disorders and infectious diseases among psychiatrists


The healthcare provision system (outpatient care, other)

Create incentives to promote non-pharmacological therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy


Establish a system to provide healthcare and daily living support to children and adolescents


The healthcare provision system (overall)

Promote utilization of professionals other than physicians and encourage multidisciplinary cooperation


Implement family support systems through collaboration with health- and welfare-related organizations


The foundation for community living

Provide support for the families of people with mental health issues


Secure places for people to belong in society that are not homes or workplaces and create opportunities for interpersonal exchange


Research and data

Promote psychosocial intervention research


Accumulate the data needed for policy formulation and evaluation


Multi-stakeholder involvement, the environment for policy discussions, and the legal system

Secure opportunities for discussions involving diverse stakeholders on promoting measures in each region


Secure human resources who can actively contribute to communities, such as specialists and dementia supporters


Please see the previous section for an overview of survey methods and the full survey report for the details on the entire survey. Please note that the full survey report is only available in Japanese.


[1] Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, 2017. “2017 Patient Survey Overview.” Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare homepage. Last retrieved January 26, 2021.
[2] JMA Research Institute Inc., 2020. Guidebook for the Construction of an Integrated Community Care System with the Capacity for Responding to Mental Disorder (FY2019 version). Last retrieved January 26, 2021.
[3] Royal College of Psychiatrists. “Mental health information in Japanese.” Royal College of Psychiatrists homepage. Last retrieved January 26, 2021.


Introducing Health and Global Policy Institute
Health and Global Policy Institute (HGPI) is a Tokyo-based independent and non-profit health policy think tank established in 2004. In its capacity as a neutral think-tank, HGPI involves stakeholders from wide-ranging fields of expertise to provide policy options to the public to successfully create citizen-focused healthcare policies. Looking to the future, HGPI produces novel ideas and values from a standpoint that offers a wide perspective. It aims to realize a healthy and fair society while holding fast to its independence to avoid being bound to the specific interests of political parties and other organizations. HGPI intends for its policy options to be effective not only in Japan, but also in the wider world, and in this vein the institute is very active in creating policies for resolving global health challenges.

Mental Health 2020 – Proposal for Tomorrow: Five Perspectives on Mental Health Policy


For inquiries about this press release, please contact:
Tomohito Shibata (Senior Associate, HGPI)
Tel: 03-4243-7156 Fax: 03-4243-7378

Top Research & Recommendations Posts

Back to Research & Recommendations