Strengthening mental health links with Japan

February 27, 2009

Dr Takeshima, Director, Department of Mental Health Administration Studies, National Institute of Mental Health, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, Japan undertook a 3 day visit to Australia organised by AAMH from 21-23 January, 2009.

At a roundtable discussion with AAMH Advisory Council members held during Dr Takeshima’s visit, future plans for community mental health development in Japan were discussed. Dr Takeshima outlined some of the excellent models of community mental health service delivery already occurring in Japan, such as consumer-run NGO services, which have become best practice examples for the region. He stressed the global challenges that Japan faces in translating good policy into practice.

A/Prof. Chee Ng (Co-Director, AAMH), who undertook a commissioned review of Japan’s community mental health services, said: “it is crucial to understand the cultural and historical context of the development of Japan’s mental health services over the past century in order to look at future directions for its development”.

During Dr Takeshima’s visit, he also met with relevant experts in media reporting of mental illness, such as Barbara Hocking OAM, Executive Director of SANE Australia and Nick Miller, Health Editor for The Age newspaper. He also met with Dr Eugen Koh at the Cunningham Dax Collection to discuss future collaborations in the areas of art and mental illness.