Guide to guideline preparation for suicide attempters in Japan
Version of Record online: 24 NOV 2008
© 2008 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2008 Japanese Society of Psychiatry and Neurology
Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences
Volume 62, Issue 6, page 754, December 2008
How to Cite
Kawanishi, C., Kawano, K. and Ito, H. (2008), Guide to guideline preparation for suicide attempters in Japan. Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, 62: 754. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1819.2008.01884.x
- Issue online: 24 NOV 2008
- Version of Record online: 24 NOV 2008
- Received 25 June 2008; accepted 21 July 2008.
FOR 10 CONSECUTIVE YEARS since 1998, the suicide rate in Japan has stayed relatively constant at around 25 per 100 000, which is the highest suicide rate among developed countries. On 28 March 2008, the Special Committee for Care for Suicide Attempters and Relatives Bereaved through Suicide established by the Japan Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare (JMHLW) released its final report on the national policy and Guide to Guideline Preparation for Providing Care to Suicide Attempters.1 It is well known that a previous history of a suicide attempt is one of the potent risk factors for later suicide.
The report lists tasks including education and enlightenment for the understanding and support of suicidal individuals, caregiving at community and medical facilities including emergency departments and primary care, nurturing of caregivers, and research into self-harm and suicide attempts. The report mentions that support and care must be continuous, individualized, and flexible enough to deal with various situations, circumstances, and regional characteristics. It also highlights the necessity of promoting community mental health.
The Guide to Guideline Preparation was prepared to encourage subsets of society to create active guidelines. It describes the common points of and precautions for providing support and care that should be considered when preparing guidelines for suicide attempters and those who have suicidal ideation. The guide materially requires several types of guidelines to be created, such as those concerning primary health-care worker and welfare officers, mental health professionals, caregivers, primary care physicians and nurses, emergency medical staff, teachers, occupational health workers, and the police and fire departments.
The report and guide were announced 6 years after the World Health Organization announced eight guides for preventing suicide at various sites.2 Actual suicide prevention activities, however, have been developing faster in Japan. For instance, the Japan Diet approved the Basic Law on Suicide Countermeasures, which came into force in October 2006,3 the Cabinet set the National Suicide Prevention Measure Outline in 2007,4 and JMHLW continues to support strategic research for suicide prevention, aimed at developing methods of suicide prevention, community intervention, and suicide re-attempt prevention among suicide attempters (ACTION-J5). JMHLW has also supported 20 community intervention models to date.
The Special Committee intended for the report and guide to be widely distributed and used in the preparation of truly useful guidelines, by urging many people to become involved in suicide prevention because such efforts concern society as a whole.
- 1The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, and the Special Committee on Suicide Attempters and Survivors Care. Report on providing care for suicide attempters and survivors. Japan, 2008. [Cited 1 May 2008.] Available from URL: http://www.mhlw.go.jp/shingi/2008/03/dl/s0328-2a.pdf
- 2World Health Organization. List of SUPRE publications. Geneva, 2000. [Cited 1 May 2008.] Available from URL: http://www.who.int/mental_health/resources/suicide/en/index.html
- 3The Diet. Basic law on suicide countermeasures. Japan, 2006. [Cited 1 May 2008.] Available from URL: http://law.e-gov.go.jp/announce/H18HO085.html
- 4The Cabinet Office. National suicide prevention measure outline. Japan, 2007. [Cited 1 May 2008.] Available from URL: http://www8.cao.go.jp/jisatsutaisaku/sougou/taisaku/pdf/t.pdf
- 5A randomized, controlled, multicenter trial of post-suicide attempt intervention for the prevention of further attempts in Japan. Psychiatr. Danub. 2006; 18 (Suppl. 1): 136., , et al.