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J Telemed Telecare 2000;6 Suppl 2:S79-80 

Japanese occupational therapy in community mental health and telehealth.

Tsuchisawa K, Ono K, Kanda T, Kelly G

School of Allied Health Sciences, Kitasato University, Japan. tsuchi@kitasato-u.ac.jp

Help for people with mental health problems in Japan has traditionally centred on inpatient medical care. In a revision of the Mental Health Welfare Law planned for 2001, responsibility for the support of people with mental health problems will be transferred from central government to local government. Furthermore, local government will, in turn, delegate administrative tasks to a 'community life support centre'. We believe that such a centre could be linked to a university with a telehealth network. Connection to the network could benefit people with mental health problems living at home. We also believe that occupational therapists are ideally positioned to play a significant role in community life support centres. With the expected sustained growth in Japanese occupational therapy, it could become a key profession in the rehabilitation of people with mental health problems. 
PMID: 10975113, UI: 20430812