Factors Related to the Mental Health and Suicidal thoughts of Adults Living in Shelters for a Protracted Period Following a Large-Scale Disaster

Manami Amagai, Noriko Kobayashi, Mayumi Nitta, Makiko Takahashi, Ikuko Takada, Yumiko Takeuch, Yumiko Sawada, Mayo Hiroshima

Abstract


After the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011, residents of the area affected by the Fukushima nuclear accident were forced to seek long-term shelter. International attention to mental health needs has increased along with reconstruction of life throughout the region. Mental health, suicidal thoughts and related factors in the 18 months after the Great East Japan Earthquake and Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster were examined in a community-based, cross-sectional study of 1,595 adults living in Fukushima. To determine mental status, we used the Japanese version of K6, which was developed to screen mood and anxiety disorders. Using a cut-off of 13 points, the frequency of poor mental health was 12.1% among all subjects. Thus, the frequencies of mental health problems and suicidal thoughts were high among residents forced to live in long-term shelters following a disaster. To improve the mental well-being of community-dwelling adults living for extended periods in shelters following a disaster, there is a need to focus on issues of unemployment, stress on the health of shelter dwellers and their families, stress on human relationships, social support, social capital, and suicidal thoughts.

DOI: 10.5901/ajis.2014.v3n3p11


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Academic Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies ISSN 2281 3993(Print) ISSN 2281-4612(Online)

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