Mental Health MH12, 2017 – 2020

Rights Based Self Learning to Promote Mental Health after Disasters


A number and complexity of mega-disasters is increasing worldwide, and more people experience enormous suffering after disasters. These days, an increasing number of humanitarian actors are active in promoting people’s mental and psychosocial well-being after emergencies. However, financial and human resources for this area are extremely limited in many low and middle-income countries (LMIC), and there is a significant gap in access to mental and psychosocial support after crises which leads to grave human, social and financial costs as an outcome.

Japan has accumulated experience on mental and psychosocial well-being after crises as one of the most disaster-hit countries. Based on it, Japan has provided technical support to UN system and countries through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and others. In addition, Japan has been a key leader in developing IT-based health promotion technologies. In the area of mental and psychosocial well-being, in close collaboration with WHO and UN, our team has recently developed a PFA e-orientation programme which is an easy-to-use self-learning tool on the ‘most supportive things to say and do’ in psychosocial support and how to keep safety among helpers and affected populations without causing harm, with a research fund by the Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED).

Based on these contexts, experience and expertise, this research programme will aim at; # (1) developing and testing localized PFA e-orientation programme among general populations, in Malaysia, the Philippines and Sri Lanka; # (2) developing a new e-learning tool on human rights of persons with mental or psychosocial disabilities in emergency settings, in order to promote awareness on inclusion and access, in close collaboration with UN;# (3) evaluating how these tools (PFA e-orientation and the e-learning on human rights of persons with mental or psychosocial disabilities) can improve people’s resilience; and # (4) presenting these outcomes for the international community such as UN This study will test a hypothesis that these e-tools on psychosocial support as well as rights of persons with mental or psychosocial disabilities can increase knowledge on mental health and disability, as well as resilience to disasters.

Principle Investigator Dr. Yoshiharu Kim, Director/ Department of Adult Mental Health, President/ National Information Center for Disaster Mental Health, National Institute of Mental Health, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, Japan

  • Co-Investigators* Prof. Takashi Izutsu, Project Associate Professor, Department of International Cooperation, Komaba Organization for Educational Excellence, College of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokyo
  • Prof. Atsuro Tsutsumi, Associate Professor, Organization of Global Affairs, Institute of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Kanazawa University

Funding organisations

  • Mental Health MH12
  • Philippines, Sri Lanka
  • 2017 – 2020