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Mental Health in Japan

If you feel you are currently in crisis and would like to talk to someone, please contact the Tokyo English Lifeline through their call center (03-5774-0992, 9 AM to 11 PM every day) or chat service (https://telljp.com/lifeline/tell-chat/, 10:30 PM to 2 AM Friday, Saturday, and Sunday).

We understand that the experience of living with and managing mental illness is highly variable and know that many of these resources are not applicable to everybody. However, we hope to share as much information as possible with you in the hope that, if necessary, you can find the support you need.

Before you travel

  • Talk to your doctor about what medication you may need, whether it be a regular, daily prescription or taken on an as-needed basis. Remember that American prescriptions are not honored in Japan, so please bring enough medication to cover your stay in Japan, up to the legal import limits.
  • Guidelines about importing medication to Japan
  • It is good practice to share travel details with friend or family member in case of emergency, in case the embassy needs to contact you or an emergency happens. Under the Privacy Act, the Embassy cannot share information with anyone unless you expressly give us permission to.
  • Enroll in STEP to receive travelers’ warnings and emergency notices.
  • Purchase travel insurance that has any coverage you may need in Japan.

While you travel

If you would like to talk to someone or locate counseling or psychiatric services:

If you have a mental health emergency:

  • You can contact psychiatric hospitals directly about intake, or the Tokyo English Lifeline. If those are not available, please call the police or ambulance (110 or 119) – either of these will attempt to connect you to English-speaking personnel.

Under Japanese law, there are three means by which a patient can be involuntarily admitted to a psychiatric hospital:

Sochi Nyuin: Hospitalization order by the prefectural governor

    This commits a person to inpatient care, following a decision by the police to take someone into protective custody and transport them to a municipal mental health facility. The concurrence of two designated psychiatrists is required, as well as ultimately the approval of the prefectural governor. Both the prefectural and federal government pays all costs for the compulsory admission to treatment.

Iryo Hogo Nyuin: Hospitalization for medical care and protection

    If a patient refuses care, but needs hospitalization, a “responsible family member” (i.e. parent, grandparent, child, spouse, or sibling), with the agreement of the attending psychiatrist, can have a family member put into inpatient care. The public authority and police are not involved, and the patient or family must pay for the care.

Kinkyu Sochi Nyuin: Emergency hospitalization

    This method applies for up to 72 hours for urgent cases, wherein hospitalization is ordered by one designated psychiatrist and the prefectural governor. However, within 72 hours, the governor and psychiatrist must choose if Sochi Nyuin or Iryo Hogo Nyuin are appropriate, and if not the patient is discharged. If Iryo Hogo Nyuin is decided upon, the responsible family member’s consent must also be obtained within those same 72 hours.

Hospitals and Counseling services in the Tokyo area that deal with foreigners with mental health issues :

Tokyo Metropolitan Matsuzawa Hospital (Psychiatric Hospital)

Please make reservations by phone at 03-3303-8379.
For new patients seeking consultation or emergency hospitalization, please call 050-5526-6567.
Medical Consultations are available, please call 03-3303-7211 and ask to connect to the Social Recovery Support Unit and Health and Welfare Counseling, though language capability may be limited.
For inpatient process and information, please read here.

Hours: Mon-Fri 9:00-17:00
Address: 2-1-1 Kamikitazawa, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 156-0057 (Access map)
Accepts payment by credit card
This hospital does have many foreign patients, but their English capabilities may be limited depending on who is staffing at the time.

NTT Medical Center Tokyo

Tel: 03-3448-6111
Hours: Mon-Fri 9:00-12:00; 13:30-17:00
Address: 5-9-22 Higashi Gotanda, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo 141-8625
English operator available, three English interpreters available at International Division. However, this hospital requires a referral letter from a local clinic in order to admit a patient, but they can introduce you to a local clinic if you call them.

Counseling Services

TELL Counseling, Tel: 03-4550-1146
Professional face-to-face counseling and psychotherapy for individuals, couples and families in Tokyo and Yokohama. TELL Counseling accepts Cigna International and Tricare. TELL Counseling offers a sliding scale of fees for services, depending on income level, and has distance counseling services available for those outside the Tokyo area.

Yorisoi Hotline, Tel: 0120-279-338 (*Press 2 for non-Japanese speakers)
Free telephone consultations in English.  Yorisoi Hotlien is a subsidy project by Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.

International Mental Health Professionals Japan
This organization offers an online, searchable database of mental health professionals throughout Japan. You can search for a care provider in a number of ways, including by location or languages spoken.

Japan Healthcare
A non-profit organization that matches foreigners to healthcare providers that match their needs and language, including psychiatrists and psychologists.

Oki Counseling
English-speaking online counseling available.

Tokyo Counseling Services
Offers individual counseling, family therapy, couples counseling, and group therapy in English, Japanese, French, German, Korean, Chinese, and Portuguese, as well as long-distance Skype counseling.

Tokyo Mental Health
English-speaking and UK-licensed Psychiatry and Counseling clinic in Akasaka and Shintomi; psychological testing also available.

O’Sullivan Counseling
English-speaking online counseling available.

Alcoholics Anonymous in Tokyo
Tel: 080-9194-7089
email: inquiries@aatokyo.org.

For locations outside Tokyo area, please refer to our list of hospitals.

If you’re worried about someone else: You may contact the embassy to share your concerns, and we will try to contact the person, but remember that we cannot share information with you unless permission is expressly given.  Click here for U.S. Government’s Privacy considerations.