With the expected increase in the number of international students coming to Japan as part of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science & Technology's "300,000 Foreign Student (Global 30) Plan", the demands on university mental health facilities will also increase. However, the rate of mental disorders of recent international students has not been fully evaluated. As part of an initiative to establish effective treatment measures for the mental health of international students, we investigated the present status and recent trends of these students who visited the Mental Health Service (MHS) in the Tsukuba University Health Center. The demographic characteristics, pathway, stress, and diagnosis of international students who visited the MHS from 2005 to 2010 were investigated retrospectively based on medical records. The subjects were 59 international students (15 male, 44 female; mean age: 28.4). The consultation rate of international students was significantly lower than that of Japanese students each year. Although the rate is almost stable in Japanese students (2.1-2.5%), it has increased significantly in international students, from 0.5% in 2005 to 1.4% in 2010. A larger percentage of the subjects were from Asia (66%), compared to the former Soviet Union (10%) and Europe (7%). A greater proportion of the subjects were graduate students (67%). The diagnoses were as follows: depression (34%), adjustment disorder (32%), insomnia (15%), and schizophrenia (9%). The percentage requiring emergency consultation was 24%, including the most severe cases that had to return to their home country. Sixty-nine percent of the subjects stayed in Japan for more than 1 year. Half of the subjects decided to visit the MHS themselves. The results of the present study show that the consultation rate of international students was lower than that of Japanese students in spite of the "culture shock" experienced by international students. This result is in agreement with previous reports. Among international students, however, there is a trend indicating an increase of visits to the MHS in recent years, approaching the rate for Japanese students. Preparations for emergency consultation are still important.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Seishin shinkeigaku zasshi = Psychiatria et neurologia Japonica|
|Publication status||Published - 2012 May 22|
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