Japan has long battled one of the highest suicide rates in the industrialized world. In 2013, its national rate of suicide stood at 21.4 deaths per 100 000 people ̶ well above that of other high-income countries (12.7 deaths per 100 000 people). Only within the last few years, have Japanese people begun to consider suicide as a social problem rather than an a taboo subject to be avoided.

The Center for Japanese Mental Health is dedicated to:

  • raising public awareness of mental health conditions that lead to suicide,
  • educating people to notice the warning signs for those at risk of suicide and how they can reach out to those at risk before they attempt to take their own lives, and
  • counseling those suffering from depression (with medication as needed and appropriate) to help them regain their normal productive lives.
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CJMH offers telephone and Skype counseling to Japanese-speaking patients outside the Greater Los Angeles area, particularly to caregivers, relief workers and social workers assisting in Japan’s recovery efforts in the earthquake and tsunami ravaged regions.

The Japanese government does not regulate clinical psychologists or psychotherapists, and Japanese insurance companies do not cover their services. The certifications for the Japanese versions of these vocations only require about 10% of the training hours required by California’s Board of Behavioral Sciences. Not surprisingly, Japan psychologists and psychotherapists are prohibited from making diagnoses. CJMH counselors provide telephone counseling and refer patients in Japan with severe diagnoses to Japanese licensed psychiatrists and/or psychiatric hospitals for confirmation of their diagnoses and for further treatment. If determined to be sufficiently stable for outpatient treatment or in the case of a non-severe diagnosis, patients can continue treatment by telephone counseling with CJMH or seek treatment from a Japan psychiatrist.

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The Center for Japanese Mental Health provides in-person counseling and psychotherapy to qualified recipients at our South Pasadena and Downtown Los Angeles locations. Your tax-deductible donation will help those who would otherwise not be able to afford quality mental healthcare from native Japanese-speaking psychotherapists who are experts in providing culturally-sensitive counseling to multi-ethnic individuals, couples, and families.

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CJMH develops and conducts workshops and seminars in the same topic areas in which we conduct public speeches to provide more comprehensive and interactive learning opportunities. Different versions are available for the general public and for Japanese mental health practitioners and social workers. Workshop media is available in English and Japanese.

CJMH is prioritizing the development of PTSD workshops to train mental health practitioners and social workers in Japan to properly identify symptoms of PTSD so patients can be referred to psychiatrists for diagnosis and treatment. Alternatively, patients can be referred for telephone counseling by licensed psychotherapists in California for both diagnosis and treatment.

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CJMH seeks opportunities to speak before Japanese community groups on topics related to mental health and psychotherapy that are of interest to the general public including PTSD, depression, suicide, caring for the elderly, caring for those with severe and persistent mental illness, parenting, and communication in multicultural families. CJMH engages local, Japanese-speaking mental health practitioners to volunteer as guest speakers and seeks speaking opportunities in Japan and other locales with a significant Japanese-speaking population. CJMH has given talks about parenting at Kodomo No Ie, a Japanese language preschool serving the San Gabriel Valley. CJMH arranged a guest speaker to present before the District Attorney’s Office in Downtown Los Angeles regarding the challenges and opportunities to better engage the Japanese-speaking population to utilize Victim of Crime and Victim Assistance Program services.

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