“Getting Mentally Illed” – Japan and China

10.30.14

“Getting Mentally Illed” – Japan and China

10.30.14
Greg WebbGreg Webb

The mentally ill in Asia have not been kindly treated by hospitals, the legal system, or by local governments. “Treatment” has ranged from benign neglect to outright assault and battery - as in China. Although China’s first law against involuntary hospitalization of people perceived as “mentally diseased” has only just taken effect in the spring of 2014 it is already apparent that it is not likely to create change in favor of patients. On the other hand, a few physicians have also identified new positive approaches to stabilize post-earthquake disaster responders and civilians. The Trauma Resiliency Model (TRM), a biologically-based model created in October of 2006 in order to bring interventions to the global community, uses a biologically-based model of mental health.

Based upon current science about the physiological and psychological impact of traumatic and highly stressful experiences it has also been found to be successful internationally. In Japan, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) applied just after Fukushima- has begun to make a positive impact. Given that WHO’s top official, Shekhar Saxena, has said that the nation-wide trauma following Japan’s “3/11” disasters mandates that Japan overhaul its mental health system, now may be the time to try new approaches such as the training of community caregivers to gain support for physicians.

Read the rest at Asia Association for Global Studies.

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