Daniel Halliday
Oct 2 · Last update 12 days ago.

Why is healthcare so good in Japan, while mental healthcare remains so far behind?

Despite having some of the best health statistics, such as the lowest dementia rate in the developed world, and low rates of obesity and heart disease, Japan also suffers high levels of suicide, with suicide remaining the leading cause of death in certain age groups in the country. In 2012 Japan’s suicide rate dropped beneath 30,000 for the first time in 15 years and continues to follow general global trends of decline, but levels remain comparatively high for the world's third richest country. What is being done about this mental health epidemic in Japan? What hurdles does mental healthcare face in the country? Why does there remain this imbalance between physical and mental healthcare?
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The need for education and less hurdles
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The need for education and less hurdles

The World Mental Health Japan survey was carried out from 2002-4, funded by a grant from the Japan Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare, it found that there was a low level of perceived need on the part of patients, structural barriers in place in the country’s healthcare system and a high dropout rate amongst people seeking mental healthcare. The most common reasons given for not seeking mental healthcare were: “I wanted to handle the problem on my own” which 68.8% of participants gave as the main reason, while 48.4% answered “I thought the problem would get better by itself”. This demonstrates the very real need, not just for less barriers in the healthcare system, but for education in the country around mental health care and the importance of it. Government funding should be designated to educate, both for the need and the procedure of seeking help with mental health issues, but to also make the procedure easier also.

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4472610

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Daniel Halliday
Oct 2
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