Our hearts go out to the many people who were affected by various types of disasters.
Historically, Japan has always suffered disasters, both natural and man-made. It is always difficult to find words when faced with the pain and sadness of the victims, whose lives and livelihoods have been indelibly changed, and yet we are also inspired by the fortitude of survivors and the efforts of many supporters who are still working hard towards recovery.?
Regarding the impact of the disaster on survivors’ health, it is our hope that the inner strength of individuals will pull them through; at the same time, we must consider how we can walk along the pathway to recovery with them in a supportive way.
In the acute phase, there is quite a wide range of individual differences in psychological symptoms, and the process of recovery varies from person to person. Our intention is to offer support to survivors during this process, and to extend a helping hand as needed.
Our role as the National Information Center of Disaster Mental Health is to provide appropriate information on related issues, and to establish a firm base of disaster relief, where relief workers and medical staff are able to provide assistance while taking the feelings of survivors into full consideration.
We very much appreciate the advice and guidance we have received from many sources, and we pray earnestly for the recovery of all those affected by the disaster.
March 1st, 2012
Yoshiharu Kim, M.D., Ph.D.
President, National Information Center of Disaster Mental Health
National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry
National Institute of Mental Health