Reducing Mental Health Stigma among Young Adults in Japan

Poster C12, Wednesday, October 10, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Essex Ballroom

Mami Kasahara-Kiritani1, Ayaka Ishii2, Shinsuke Koike3; 1Kyoto University, 2Light Ring., 3The University of Tokyo

Introduction: Mental health continues to be stigmatized in Japan, often preventing people with mental health trouble from seeking out treatment. Light Ring, a nonprofit organization, aims to reduce the stigma against mental health disorders and also cultivating social support through educational programs at colleges. Light Ring. believes that empowering people close to young adults who are suffering mental health disorders through the advocacy of paraprofessionals constitutes an effective method to prevent mental illness of young adults. Objectives: This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of the program in promoting mental health awareness for young adults held by Light Ring. Methods: A structured self-report questionnaire was administered to young adults at the participating colleges in Tokyo. The degree of stigma against mental health disorders was measured using a Japanese version of the Reported and Intended Behavior Scale (RIBS-J). The degree of social support was measured by Social Support Questionnaire (SSQ). Help seeking behavior was assessed by three questions: “Do you think people should consult a specialist when they have mental health trouble?” “Are you willing to consult a specialist when having mental health trouble?” and “How easily can you talk about your mental health troubles with your families or friends?” RIBS-J at baseline and follow-up were used to measure outcomes. Cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses were performed. Ethical approval was obtained from the Kyoto University ethics committee. Results: The experimental group (74 students, M/F: 18/55) from two colleges was compared against a control group (62 students, M/F: 26/36) from one college.

Topic Area: Psychosocial Interventions

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