Changing Attitudes toward the Mentally Ill and their Treatment in Japan

1883 WordsJul 10, 20188 Pages
Introduction Historically, the treatment of the mentally ill has often been poor around the world. Hospitals like Bethlehem Hospital (Bedlam) in London, Lunatics Tower in Vienna, and La Bicetre in Paris treated their patients notoriously bad. The “unbalanced” were locked in asylums, rarely released. Asylum patients were locked in chains, tourists visited the asylums to see inmates, and patients were sometimes feed spoiled food. This was due to the stigma against mental illness which lead to poor accommodations and forced incarcerations. In the west mental illness is still stigmatized, but less so. More often Westerners believe in a psychological perspective ion mental illness. The progression towards psychological understanding…show more content…
Japan had the highest psychiatric bed ratio per capita and the highest number of psychiatric beds in the world (Ng, 2010, p. 57-59). Japan has seven times as many beds per person as in the US, and the average stay is 50 times longer. Patients typically spend years in a hospital per stay (as opposed to days to weeks in the U.S.). (The Economist, 2013) In 1987 and again in 2002 pushes have been made towards community-based mental health care. (Taplin, 2012, p. 79-85) These statistics suggest that Japanese people, historically, may be happier to ignore the mentally ill. And that that historical attitude is influencing contemporary practices. Mentally ill people are less accepted and integrated into society. Because of cultural prejudice against the mentally ill, they are considered more unwell and unsafe, and in more need of hospitalization. Another factor is the relatively small amount of care available outside of hospitals. Opportunities and support for the mentally ill outside of hospitals may be limited by the stigma they face as well. Outside resources are growing, but still not largely used and accessible. Role of the Family and Community Family has traditionally been assigned the role of caregiver to the sick in Japan. (Hamano, 2010) But family members may be ill prepared to deal with mental illness. Current initiatives have been enacted to educate families and the community on psychology and mental illness. This can help people know when
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