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Schizophrenia sufferer challenges Japan's isolation of mentally ill


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In 2014, Japan still had a very high ratio of psychiatric care beds per capita among member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, with 269 beds per 100,000 people compared with the average of 68, based on a 2014 OECD report.

The average length of hospital stay, meanwhile, was about 290 days, which is exceptionally long compared with other countries.

Says it all. A long standing practice of removing mental health patients from society as a matter of routine, rather than assisting them while they are part of society.

I wish him luck, but how many others are there with similar stories?
10 ( +10 / -0 )

Empathy not a strong point

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Health departments in North America and Europe...overhauled their systems to emphasize community-based care as opposed to hospital-based settings.

And now those places have had horrendous problems with illicit drugs and homelessness as direct result. Japan is miles ahead in this area.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

No wonder so many parents choose to keep their children at home, despite the struggle caring for them as the children grow to adulthood and the parents age. Relinquishing your child to an institution like those described here must be an awful prospect.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Mental health care in Japan is still in the dark ages.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

When America began releasing such patients, the government was criticized. Community treatment programs existed, but when the mentally ill were released, they could not be forced to take part in these programs. Many (most?) became homeless, and a large percentage of America’s homeless today is made up of the mentally ill.

The main reason homelessness is not such a huge issue in Japan is because the mentally ill are hospitalized. The entire country of Japan has fewer homeless than the city of Los Angeles.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Japan started releasing patients and switching to care in the community quite late, about 20+ years ago. Since then there have been many reforms enacted within hospitals, where staff now have to assume their patients will all be treated and released, and they must produce detailed plans of how they will accomplish that for each patient.

Mr Ota seems to be a sad example of someone left over from the old system and trapped in some kind of self-perpetuating inertia. Horribly frustrating for him. Let us hope that he is the exception, and everyone will take note of his example.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Never ever admit to any Japanese person, certainly not your Japanese employer, that you have issues to do with mental health. You will be labelled as crazy/weird and your life will become crap overnight.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

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