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Mental Health in Japan: Do they even care?

People in Japan with Mental Health Issues

Mental Health in japan: Do they even care?

Many news is published everyday in Japan. Both in Japanese,
and in English. Yet, the number of news regarding mental health are very few,
that we could count it with our finger. So, what are these about Japan that is

One of the most prominent views was by Grimes as cited by
JapanTimes, “The view of mental health in Japanese society was one of the
highest hurdles in years past”. Grimes explained that many saw counseling as “a
place where crazy people go.”. This statement is not exactly wrong. In other
developed countries with medical system as advance as Japan, mental health
services are everywhere. One of these examples is a Canadian top university,
McGill. They have a prominent mental health service in their campus called Student Wellness Hub,
compared to Japanese top universities, there is no prominent mental health
system for their students.

Seeing this, we can understand the stigma that they have in
Japan surrounding mental health. There is even an extreme case published by
JapanTimes, in 2018 where a 33y.o. female was found dead in her residence
because her parents locked her up in a tiny room. This is because she has a
mental health issue “schizophrenic”, and her parents do not want their
neighbors to know about it.

Realizing all this information, it is a bit difficult to get
help for mental health related issues. To help Smiles Friends, We have compiled a
lists of places or organizations where Smiles Friends may get help from.

People in Japan with Mental Health Issues

Where to get help in Japan?

1.     TELL

An organization founded back in the early 2000s. Their mission is to help you at your most desperate times. If you ever need someone to talk to, they are offering free English lifeline. Phone: 03-3501-0110 (This emergency lifeline is available 24 hours a day). They also offered medical interpretation service.

2.     Japan Counseling Service

Official Japanese government website that provides detailed information regarding mental health in Japan.

3.     Japan Emergency assistance

Non-profit, non-governmental services dedicated to the international community. They offer advice on your inquiries, emergencies, or even just listening to your issues.


Their Japanese Emergency Team can be reached at: 03-5780-1111.

Mental Health Help in Japan
Source: TELL official website

Are There Counseling Services that Accept the Use of Japanese National Health Insurance?

So far, Japan does not offer the use of NHI, or their national insurance for mental health counseling. Once again, this is a very sad situation. However, they do offer help to find places for counseling that suits your needs.


Contact them

To read more of our health series:

Thank you for reading!
To read our main article about healthcare in Japan, click here.

  1. Why the majority of Japanese are skinny? (Coming soon)
  2. What you should do when you go to a clinic or hospital in Japan?
  3. The difference between drug store and pharmacy? (Coming soon)
  4. How to get medicine from abroad to Japan? (Coming soon)
  5. Payment systems for hospitals in Japan? (Coming soon)
  6. Finding dentists in Japan? (Coming soon)

Think something is wrong or missing? Don’t hesitate to comment and will share it!

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  1. JapanToday
  2. JapanToday
  3. Tell
  4. Japan Help
  5. McGill
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