Thursday, March 17, 2011

Japan and mental health


Will Japan face a mental health crisis?
By Evelyn Bromet, Special to CNN
March 16, 2011 -- Updated 1657 GMT (0057 HKT)

As a researcher -- but also as a mother and grandmother -- I want to share some important lessons I learned from Three Mile Island and Chernobyl. First, the psychological "fallout" of the radiation leaks will not just be widespread. It will also be long-lasting.

Government officials and physicians should therefore be straight and open with people about their exposure, should treat mental and physical health problems with equal respect and care and should understand that mental and physical health go hand-in-hand. Second, even when the next disaster happens in another place in the world, the victims in Japan should know that we will always remember their painful experiences and they are not suffering alone.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Evelyn Bromet.

Evelyn Bromet, is Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Preventive Medicine at Stony Brook University in New York.

This excerpt is taken from CNN: