March 2016
News from Zone 17, East Asia

In major universities and colleges around the world, ‘student mental health’ is already set as a major subject, and various corresponding programs such as ‘suicide prevention and intervention’ are already prepared. This indicates that these universities and colleges put much effort into not only student education and research, but also into the student mental support. Unfortunately, many universities and colleges in East Asian countries lack these systems.

In 2015, five students in Seoul National University, which is the first ranking university in Korea, have killed oneself and the university has organized a so-called ‘SNU crisis intervention committee’. The university has decided to double the corresponding budget and workers in 2016, and is planning to provide a personalized support to each student.

Also in March 2nd, 2016, the ‘Seoul National Hospital’ has reopened as the ‘National Center for Mental Health’, in order to set up a ‘psychiatric emergency center’, which enables a prompt management on psychiatric matters. We hope that after thorough evaluation on these organizations, these can be a helpful model for the enhancement of mental health in East Asian countries.

The 12th World Congress of World Association for Psychosocial Rehabilitation (WAPR) was held in Seoul, Korea from 2nd to 5th of November 2015. In the history of WAPR, this was the first world congress of WAPR in East Asia. The main theme of Seoul World Congress was “Beyond the Tradition, Create New Paradigm of Care”.

Min-Soo Lee (WPA Zone 17 Representative)

  

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