Implementing early intervention in Japan: Its challenges and difficulties

Presentation First Author: 
Masafumi Mizuno

For many years, the reliance on hospital-based psychiatry has been a barrier for the development of community-based psychiatry in Japan and increased stigma against mental illness and people suffering from psychiatric disorders. Even in this adverse situation, some innovative hospitals have attempted to make the transition to community-based psychiatry through their own endeavors. Simultaneously with these gradual changes, the key concept of early intervention and detection in the critical period for treatment is spreading among psychiatric professionals and some innovative centers have started their activities mainly from University centers. Therefore, special approaches for early psychosis cases could be administered mainly in University centers for the referred cases from general practitioners or psychiatrists in private clinics and the numbers of cases are very limited. Poor mental health literacy due to lack of education in schools increases the difficulties of the earlier phase cases to come directly to the centers. The researchers and clinicians in the centers need to publicly announce or inform the importance of early intervention for increasing and implementing EI. All the communicating tools including media and Websites should be utilized for sending the information on the activities and possibilities of EI. Community meetings of medical professionals and school teachers, parents, and all related persons must be important for developing the referral network for early detection. These efforts are limited for those regions that currently have early intervention centers in Japan. The models for EI in the community should be flexible and characteristic for each area.

Conference Name: 
Presentation Date: 
January, 2015
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