This article describes the history and current state of health care professions in Japan and how team-based approaches have been promoted from medical institutions to the regional level and from a medical science model to a living model. This team-based approach is now recognized as being indispensable to practice and development in the field of mental health and welfare, but the independent participation of the client is regarded as fundamentally important, and a trusting and cooperative partnership must be cultivated through mutual communication between team members. From a national point of view, there are also situations in which the team-based approach does not function well due to a variety of factors such as health-care institutions' emphasis on business matters or discrimination and prejudice among local populations. Many problems remain unresolved, preventing effective support for the return of long-term hospitalized patients to the community and for the peaceful settlement of handicapped individuals in the community.
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