Japanese Journal of Risk Analysis
Online ISSN : 2435-8436
Print ISSN : 2435-8428
Letter to editors
The Importance of Providing Systematic Mental Health Care in the COVID-19 Pandemic: Reflecting on the 2011 Fukushima Nuclear Accident
Arinobu HORIToyoaki SAWANOAkihiko OZAKIMasaharu TSUBOKURA
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2021 Volume 30 Issue 2 Pages 97-99


Healthcare workers are at additional risk of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, and there have been extensive discussions on their mental health consequences. We draw attention to four observations in disaster relief workers (DRWs) coping with the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake (GEJE) in 2011 to inquire this problem profoundly.

1. The uplift and exhaustion of DRWs in the honeymoon phase after a disaster

2. The denial of trauma and depression in the acute post-disaster period

3. Little awareness of the importance of grief care among disaster survivors

4. Manifest of mental distress during the post-disaster restoration phase, when social disparities emerge

5. The importance to guarantee the economic activities of DRWs to maintain their livelihoods

DRWs tend to be left in a vulnerable position to respond to a disaster. Deliberate support for such DRWs is decisively required in the context of COVID-19 pandemic.

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© 2021 The Society for Risk Analysis, Japan

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