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  1. 12th World Congress of Psychiatry Yokohama Japan
  2. Community Mental Health Care in Cambodia and Taiwan

1.12th World Congress of Psychiatry Yokohama Japan August 24th - 29th 2002

It is encouraging the first World Psychiatric Congress of the 21st Century was held in Yokohama Japan. This was in fact the first time that this Congress has been held not just in Japan but in any country in Asia since the Foundation of the World Psychiatric Association in 1950.

The significance of holding the 12th World Congress in an Asian country was referred to in many of the opening ceremony speeches and transcultural perspectives and issues in mental health care around the world were reflected both in the themes and content of a number of the lectures, symposia and presentations given by psychiatrists and other mental health care workers from all over the world.

The 12th World Psychiatric Congress - Partnership for Mental Health - was opened in the presence of His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince Akihito of Japan and Princess Masako, and was jointly sponsored by the Japan Association of Psychiatry and Neurobiology and the Japan Science Council. More than 7000 psychiatrists and other mental health professionals from around the world participated. In his opening speech the Crown Prince referred to mental health and the 21st century as being said to be the century of the mind (kokoro).

There was such a range of lectures and presentations on many important mental health care topics and issues facing the world today that is was at times hard to decide which to attend. Although it is not possible in one issue of this newsletter, to detail the many areas of concern and fields of research and debate covered during the whole congress, it is good to note that many practitioners and researchers are focused on vital mental health care issues such as providing effective treatment, support and care for people who experience depression, are victims of domestic violence and other types of traumatic stress and the prevention of suicide and the impact of suicide on the family and society in all cultures around the world.
World Psychiatric Association

2.Community Mental Health Care in Cambodia and Taiwan

In a remarkable and deeply impressive presentations given by Cambodian psychiatrist Doctor Sotheara Chhim ("Community Mental Health Service in Cambodia") and Mr. Yoshimasa Tebayashi, a Japanese Clinical Psychologist ("Six Years Experience of Mental Health Support Activities in Cambodia"), the following information was included:

During the Pol Pot period from 1975 to 1979 it is estimated that 1.7 million people were killed or died in captivity.

The two psychiatrists practicing in Cambodia when the Khmer Rouge took power in 1975 were sent to do farm labour disappeared without trace. The only Mental Health Hospital, built in 1960's, was closed. Psychiatric patients were killed or sent to work in the fields.

Now in 2002 in Cambodia serving a population of about 12 million people there are approximately only 350 mental health care providers including 20 psychiatrists, 20 psychiatric nurses and 215 psychiatric clinical psychologists. Through the incredible efforts of people like these individual psychiatric practice and individual and group counseling programs have been established in Phnom Pen and some of the provinces of Cambodia.

For anyone interested in learning more and who are in a position to offer tangible support a good place to start is through the Japanese NGO, the SUMH Network:

Supporters Mental Health Website in Japanese

Taiwan:Dr Chien is a Taiwanese psychiatrist who has been working within and a leading figure in the development of mental care system in Taiwan. In flawless Japanese he gave an insightful and highly informative presentation on both the way people suffering mental illness had been traditionally been regarded and the current mental health care provision in modern Taiwan, with particular regard to the development of mental health care training and services since the mid 1980's.

These presentations by Dr Chien, Dr Chhim and Mr. Takebayashi were jointly sponsored by the Japan Association of Psychiatric Clinics and the Tokyo Association of Psychiatric Clinics and were chaired by Dr Kubota, the President of the TAPC. Dr. Kubota, in his concluding statement, said that he is hoping to develop cooperation with other Asian countries and develop community care services such as psychiatric clinics rather than inpatient facilities.

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"Japan Mental Health" Back Issues

Newsletter - 2005 #1
Internet Suicide in Japan
Newsletter - 2004 #1
Counseling in Multicultural Japan
Newsletter - 2003 #2
JSTSS 2003 Symposium
Newsletter - 2003 #1
Japanese Federation of Psychotherapy - 4th Congress 2003
The Japanese Certificate for Psychotherapy
Newsletter - 2002 #3
JACP 21st Annual Conference
ACA Article: "Counseling: in Japan"
Doctor Patch Adams Japan
Newsletter - 2002 #2
World Congress of Psychiatry - Japan
Mental Health Care Cambodia and Taiwan
Newsletter - 2002 #1
JSTSS Symposium 2002
Japan Times article - ICC

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