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BMC Proc. 2018 Dec 19;12(Suppl 14):65. doi: 10.1186/s12919-018-0159-0. eCollection 2018.

Addressing challenges in children's mental health in disaster-affected areas in Japan and the Philippines - highlights of the training program by the National Center for Global Health and Medicine.

Author information

1
1Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Kohnodai Hospital, National Center for Global Health and Medicine, Ichikawa, Japan.
2
2College of Public Health, University of the Philippines Manila, Manila, Philippines.
3
4School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of the Ryukyus, Nakagusuku, Okinawa, Japan.
4
Department of Psychiatry, National Center Hospital of Neurology and Psychiatry, Kodaira, Japan.
5
5Department of Adult Mental Health, Institute of Mental Health, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, Kodaira, Japan.
6
Department of Education, Regional Office VIII, Leyte, Philippines.
7
Department of Health, Regional Office VIII, Leyte, Philippines.
8
8Office of Social Work Service, Kohnodai Hospital, National Center for Global Health and Medicine, Ichikawa, Japan.
9
9Department of Psychiatry, Philippine General Hospital, University of the Philippines Manila, Manila, Philippines.
10
10Department of Psychiatry, Kohondai Hospital, National Center for Global Health and Medicine, Ichikawa, Japan.
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Contributed equally

Abstract

Background and purpose:

Natural disasters such as earthquakes, typhoons, floods, and volcanic eruptions frequently occur in Republic of Philippines and mental health care for children affected by these natural disasters is a major public health concern. Aiming to train health professionals on children's mental health, to conduct a situational analysis to identify the local needs and resources for children's mental health, and to propose a mental health program for children that can be transferred from Japan to the Philippines, the National Center for Global Health and Medicine (NCGM) conducted a training program for children's mental health in disaster-affected areas in Japan and the Philippines in June, October, and December, 2017. The training was organized by NCGM for the Program for International Promotion of Japan's Healthcare Technologies and Services funded by Ministry of Health, Labour, & Welfare, Japan in relation to the Memorandum of Understanding in the Field of Healthcare between NCGM in Japan and University of the Philippines Manila, College of Public Health.

Key highlights:

The training program consisted of classroom trainings, site visits, and round table discussions in Japan and the Philippines. The classroom trainings and site visits focused on two points: the experiences of individuals and families who survived the Great East Japan Earthquake (GEJE) in 2011 and super typhoon Haiyan in 2013 and the program and activities, especially on mental health, of various government and non-government organizations in helping the affected families and communities. The round table discussion, on the other hand, was conducted to identify challenges related to children's mental health in disaster-affected areas and to develop recommendations to address these challenges.The major recommendations for the Philippines were to give equal emphasis to physical and psychosocial preparedness and to develop a comprehensive program to care for carers. In Japan, public health and mental health should be integrated in the Disaster Medical Service. Experts from both countries should also generate evidence on the effectiveness of interventions in reducing mental health stigma and collaborate with school personnel and communities in order to learn more about psychosocial preparedness. Finally, mental health must be mainstreamed in programs not only in Japan but also in other countries.

Implications:

The training program enabled key stakeholders to describe the current situation of mental health in Japan and the Philippines, to identify mental health challenges common to disaster-affected areas in both countries, and to propose short- and long-term plans and recommendations. The training program is expected to address the mental health needs of children in disaster-affected areas through a responsive community-based support network. The training participants agreed to form a network and build partnerships toward the common goal of mainstreaming community-based support for children's mental health in disaster-affected areas in Japan and the Philippines.

KEYWORDS:

Child; Community-based support network; Disaster; Japan; Mental health; The Philippines; Training program

Conflict of interest statement

Not applicable.Not applicable.The authors declare that they have no competing interests.Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

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