How to Advance Collaboration between the Person and the Psychiatrist


Japanese Society for the Elimination of Barriers to Mental Health, Japan


If one voice message can be formed between the person and the psychiatrist, the message will be heard harmoniously by society. In order to be one voice, the person and the psychiatrist should reduce misunderstanding, stereotyping, prejudice and possibly even stigma between each other. 

 Another issue. If recovery of the person is set as ultimate purpose of care, the leading part is the person. The person can speak about experience of personal recovery, while the psychiatrist takes care of science of the treatment. The psychiatrist can not speak about experience and the person usually does not speak science. The psychiatrist should learn how to play a good supporting role.

 For collaboration, the psychiatrist may preach the scientific knowledge, however science is little relevant to experience. The psychiatrist may answer to questions. If a psychiatrist can answer to questions together with a service user, the answer can cover both experience and science and should be more helpful. 

 The psychiatrist may ask the service user to share the tip to use psychiatric service with potential users. How to find a good psychiatrist, how to ask questions, etc.. This may reduce stigma against and hesitancy to use of psychiatric service and lead to earlier intervention opportunities. 

 In order to counter deviated and misguiding information dissemination through internet, the service users may share their stories on internet. What appeals is always personal stories and bad stories can be countered only by balanced stories.

 The users may be encouraged to evaluate the psychiatric service and the psychiatrist’s practice as well and the psychiatrist may give suggestions how psychiatric service quality may be evaluated. 

 After these steps of collaboration have been achieved, the person and the psychiatrist may reach a better position to speak with the policy makers with one voice.

 In Japan, the person’s organization, and the Japanese Society for the Elimination of the Barriers to Mental Health just started to work toward these goals of collaboration.