Chairperson’s Address to Members

The Japan Academy of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing (JAPMHN) was formed on 6 July, 1991. The mission of our Academy is to further develop psychiatric nursing and interchange our knowledge to community. Ours is the only academy in Japan, as an academy dealing with psychiatric nursing. As of today, JAPMHN boasts of more than 900 members and has shown consistent development over the past 20 years. The members are from diverse backgrounds and include practicing psychiatric nurses working in hospitals, in the community and regional areas as well as individuals working with academic research institutes and performing research in related fields. At JAPMHN, our main duties include hosting annual meetings, publishing journals reporting studies and advances, hosting educational lectures and workshops and issuing regular newsletters.

The environment around psychiatric nursing has been rapidly changed since the time our academy was started in 1991. This academy was founded to address the concern that psychiatric nursing had not been established as an independent field within the nursing education curriculum following the revision of the Act on Public Health Nurses, Midwives and Nurses was in 1989. Thereafter, as for renewal of the rule in 1997 saw, ’Psychiatric Nursing’ has achieved to get a much needed position in the basic nursing education curriculum. At the same time, however, we are questioned further about the contents of the psychiatric nursing. And, we have integrated with keeping on searching identity and professionalism of the psychiatric nursing because of background of establishment.

In the following years, The Basic Act for Persons with Disabilities(1993) and The Act on Mental Health and Welfare for the Mentally Disabled(1995) were approved, and the recent The Treatment and Probation Law for Individual Committing Grave Act under Insanity (Treatment and Probation Law) (2003) and The Services and Supports for Persons with Disabilities Act(2005) were established. Therefore changes in the legal system were so rapid that the focus of psychiatric nursing has been certainly shifting to the generation of community psychiatric health care. In addition, because disease kinetics has been evolving, such as depression, personality disorder and acceleration of age-related psychiatric disorder along, we have entered a new era in which psychiatric nursing are put to the test of its professionalism and social cooperation of psychiatric nursing.

However, at the same time, as a result of the integration of nursing education, the number of colleges of nursing and postgraduate schools of nursing have established one after another. Reflecting this integration, at the annual meetings and academic journals, diversified and dedicated research effects have demonstrated by young highly educated practitioners and researchers. Although such individuals who contribute to advance in the next generation give us the hope, the reach of Japanese psychiatric health care is wide. Therefore our academy should work on many challenges.

Since its inception, our academy has maintained its traditional focus on providing education that involves a coalition between academia and practice, as well as encourages communication among its members. In such a busy generation, we ourselves should pass on our attractiveness and integrate the ideal of psychiatric nursing. We would also like to do our best along with our members to explore the nature of psychiatric nursing.

It was a coincidence that our Academy was established the same year the U.N adopted its resolution ‘Principles for the Protection of Persons with Mental Illness and for the Improvement  of Mental Health Care’. In the future, we would like to work with each of our members that further development of JAPMHN will contribute comfortable care for the individuals of psychiatric-mental health medicine and growth of psychiatric-mental health to all. We anticipate and will greatly appreciate the corporation of all members in achieving our objective.

The Japan Academy of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
Chairperson - Mieko Tanaka