Mental Health Promotion for Children After Disaster in Japan
1Waseda University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Japan
2Waseda University, Graduate school of Sports Sciences, Japan
3Waseda University, Graduate school of Human Sceinces, Japan
Tremendous earthquakes occurred around the north area of Japan in March 11 of 2011. Soon afterward, Tsunami also damaged everything on the coasts of Tohoku. Lots of people died and buildings were destroyed. While interventions have been largely directed towards the survivors suffering mental health problems, different types of interventions have been expected to aim at building positive mental health over time. Specially, ideas are necessary for children in keeping their good mental health as well as preventing for mental health problems although they are influenced from physical and social environments. From what we have learned about resilience from studies in positive psychology, children seem to do best when ordinary needs are strengthened. So anything that supports building self-regulation, or having strong connections with friends, family members, and caring adults, or being part of consistent community resources will all help resilience. We have replicated success of the Mentally Healthy WA, Act-Belong-Commit campaign (Donovan, 2010) as population approach to enhance resilience for children in the area stricken by disaster although we slightly changed the concepts as if Act-Belong-Challenge in Japanese. We begun the campaign by the multiple strategies such as posting the poster in each class room, encouraging the activities from teachers in accordance with instructional manuals, providing with some goods such as seal and sticker, delivering the recommendation explaining the purpose to caregivers and so on. Although this campaign is still in progress, we are expecting to improve their scores of Act-Belong-Challenge activities and then to lead to their stress relief.