Amy Arnett wrote:
Mental health treatment is available to anyone, anywhere. They just have to go. Some clinics will pick you up if you need. If you are embarrassed, you can go to the next town where no one knows you. National health insurance is available to everyone and accepted anywhere in the country. All medication is covered. There is a monthly cap on how much you have to pay. Cost is not a barrier for anyone. No referral is necessary, just go to the doctor you think you need. You don't need to convince a primary care physician that you need a specialist, you just go to the specialist.
My experience with Japanese doctors has mostly been positive. They have listened compassionately and never dismissed anything I've said. Of course, I read up on the doctors I choose, so of course there will be some doctors who are not so great...There is no in-network bullshit, I can go to the qualified doctor that's 50 miles away without any insurance problems. And I could likely get there without a car using pubic transportation.
Suicides and hikikomori (staying inside) are issues for sure and complicated. I don't think it's for lack of access anymore. There is still some stigma depending on where you are or who you are with. But if families were found to deny medical treatment, they would be charged with abuse and neglect. I have seen it on the news a couple times, but it's not the general culture anymore.
I am correctly diagnosed and treated thanks to a Japanese doctor. I never have to worry about the cost of medication for the rest of my life. I, even as a foreigner (granted I speak japanese), have experienced less barriers and more compassion in Japan than I ever did in the US. Sorry to jump on your post, Sarah, I just didn't want anyone reading to be put off Japan.
I'm fortunate to have found a very open minded village with new residents coming from all over with new ideas. We kind of joke that our village attracts people who couldn't take the mainstream culture and want to live in peace and heal the earth. The only difference to consider would be that sometimes drugs that are approved in the US take some years to then be approved in Japan, so anyone coming to Japan with medication should check on that.
Pearl Sutton wrote:And then's there's the flip side of what has been mentioned about how how society treats someone with issues: I had severe physical illness ignored because of my mental issues