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65 A nation-wide free telephone hot line for social inclusion after the great East Japan earthquake
  1. Yoshihide Sorimachi1,
  2. Dai Isomura2,
  3. Tomoko Endo3
  1. 1Otsuma Women’s University, Japan
  2. 2Kanasugi Clinic, Japan
  3. 3Support Centre of Social Inclusion, Japan

Abstract

Background Japan has had relatively high suicide mortality among high income countries since the Asian financial crisis in 1997. For it seems to reflect progressing social exclusion, some social inclusion policy is needed to reduce suicides.

Description of the problem The international monetary crisis in 2008 drastically deprived many young people in Japan of their jobs. Moreover, March11th, 2011, a great earthquake hit the east areas of Japan which evoked huge tsunamis and explosions of Fukushima Dai-ichi nucleic power plants. It not only killed more than 20,000 peoples, but also forced approximately 470,000 peoples to be evacuees. After this disaster, emerging social exlusion in Japan seemed to accelerate. Just after a year later, a nation-wide hot line with free phone access was established to support various kind of socially excluded peoples including these evacuees, which has been subsided by the national government of Japan. This consultation system has 6 lines: Line 1 for peoples with economical difficulties, Line 2 for foreigners, Line 3 for victims of sexual assaults and/or domestic violence, Line 4 for sexual minorities, Line 5 for people with suicidal thoughts, Line 8 for evacuees.

Results Approximately 400,000 people successfully contacted the hot line in fiscal year 2013. In addition to getting couseling through phone, a client can sometimes get some direct support, for example, getting food from a food bank or being accompanied with its staff for visiting a welfare office. 30% of consulters had disability identifications. Among them 60% had mentally disability identifications. 28% of consulters from the disaster areas chose dial 5 for supporting peoples with suicidal thoughts.

Conclusions The system seems to function as an effective consultation system for socially isolated people with mental disorders, intellectual or developmental disabilities, and to function as a powerful suicide prevention measure.

  • Social inclusion
  • social exclusion
  • suicide prevention
  • hot line

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