[Mental health and welfare law to build community support]

Mitsuo Kadoya
Seishin Shinkeigaku Zasshi, Psychiatria et Neurologia Japonica 2003, 105 (7): 884-7
While the rest of the world has experienced or completed deinstitutionalization in the turn of the century, Japan has not come up with a clear plan to decrease mental hospital beds. There are 330,000 people in hospitals, and at least 1/3 of them for social reasons. Japanese hospital-centered policy has been enrooted on paternalism that hospitals are responsible for the care of the severely mentally ill. Enactment of Mental Health and Welfare Act in 1995 was epoque making because this law is provided an opportunity for people with psychiatric disabilities to live in the community with support services. With this act, Central government has introduced care guidelines how to coordinate services by care managers in each municipalities in 2002. It is important to address that this new treatment model be based on individual's need and support given to improve an individual's quality of life in the community.

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