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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 85-91

Psychoeducation for children in a psychiatric ward in the immediate aftermath of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan

Miyagi Disaster Mental Health Care Center, Miyagi; National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, Tokyo, Japan

Correspondence Address:
PhD Naru Fukuchi
Takeda-Sendai building 3F, 2-18-21 Honcho, Aoba-Ku, Sendai, Miyagi 980-0014
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/INTV.INTV_39_19

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On 11 March 2011, Japan was struck by a massive earthquake and tsunami. There were a number of hospitals in the disaster-affected area, including some with psychiatric and children’s wards. Since all utilities were completely cut off for several days, children in the hospital had no access to information about the disaster. Therefore, they lacked a sense of the gravity of the situation and did not show any signs of panic. However, as several psychiatric hospitals located in the coastal area were severely devastated by the tsunami and therefore were unable to continue providing medical services, inpatients of these hospitals had to be accommodated in other hospitals that had children’s wards. The workers on these wards had to respond to minimise the negative psychological impact of this situation on the children in their care. On 18 March 2011, one week after the disaster, brief psychoeducation presentations were conducted with PowerPoint slides, teaching the children how to cope with the stress they were experiencing, using an original rating scale: a mood thermometer. Observations suggest that brief psychoeducation in the immediate phase after a disaster may effectively reduce the psychological trauma that children might otherwise experience.

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