The Tōhoku Theater Project in Postdisaster Japan: An Exemplar for Addressing Community Mental Health in the Context of Disaster

Kathleen M. Pike, Tahilia J. Rebello, Setsu Hanasaki, Ryoko Narita-Ohtaki, Phyllis Kaufman, Tsuyoshi Akiyama, Bryan Doerries, Lawrence H. Yang, Nao Suzuki, Elizabeth B. Magill, Seiji Yasumura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The Tōhoku Theater Project was completed 2 years after the natural and nuclear disasters in Tōhoku, Japan, on March 11, 2011. It employed the dramatic arts to support the healing process, promote resilience, and increase dialogue and understanding about mental health among individuals who were directly affected by the disasters. The four performances fostered important discussions regarding the psychological impact of the Tōhoku disasters. Participants (N=143) found the theater performance effective at facilitating discussion, increasing empathy, and enhancing mental health knowledge, coping, and resilience. The performances provided critical information about access to services; many participants reported that they had not known where to seek help for mental health prior to their involvement with the Tōhoku Theater Project. Lessons learned may inform community-based strategies that promote mental health and healing in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and other public health disasters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)712-715
Number of pages4
JournalHospital and Community Psychiatry
Volume73
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2022

Keywords

  • Arts and mental health
  • Coronavirus/COVID-19
  • Postdisaster
  • Psychiatry/general
  • Public health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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