Mental Wellness: Trends in the JA/Japanese Community

  • When

Date: October 6, 2022 (U.S.)
6:00pm-8:30pm (ET)
Nippon Club (145 W 57th St, New York, NY 10019)
Cost: $25/person
Register here

Please join the U.S.-Japan Council New York region for an in-person event and discussion on the topic of mental wellness with our moderator Council Leader Dr. Jeanette C. Takamura and distinguished guest speakers Dr. Richard T. Hara, Dr. Takashi Matsuki, and Council Leader Dr. Kathleen Pike. Our speakers will provide distinct perspectives on the mental health trends in the Japanese American and Japanese communities in New York. Networking will follow the speaker discussion.

Please click the name of the speakers below to learn more.

Featured Speakers

Jeanette C. Takamura, Ph.D., MSW, is Professor of Gerontology, Social Policy, and Leadership, Management, and Social Entrepreneurship (LME); Dean Emerita at the Columbia University School of Social Work and directs the LME Division. As dean, she worked with her faculty colleagues to establish ten global or national research centers and other initiatives based in the United States, Central Asia, and Africa. With a team of  colleagues, she led the introduction of the profession of social work and social work education in Jordan and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. 

Dr. Takamura has held academic appointments at three U.S. universities and was a U.S. Senate confirmed assistant secretary in the Department of Health and Human Services for the Administration on Aging (now the Administration on Community Living). While assistant secretary, she led the development of the National Family Caregiver Support Program which was passed by Congress and signed into law as a part of the reauthorized Older Americans Act by President Clinton in 2000. Dr.Takamura has an annual award for leadership in long-term care named in her honor by ADvancing States, a national organization for state aging, long term care, and disability  departments and agencies. She was first deputy director of the Hawaii State Department of Health—then the third largest state health department in the United States, and earlier was director of the Executive Office on Aging, Office of the Governor of Hawaii. 

Dr. Takamura has represented the United States in Asia, Europe, Canada, and particularly in Japan on numerous occasions including, for the latter, on a global commission on population ageing co-sponsored by the Center for Strategic and International Studies and co-chaired by former Prime Minister Hashimoto and former Vice President Walter Mondale. For several years, she was a consultant for the WHO-Kobe Center on health and ageing issues. Dr. Takamura has worked for more than a decade on women’s empowerment and was invited by a consortium of Japan’s public and private universities to lead a symposium on women’s empowerment. She has spoken at Tsukuba University and other educational institutions by invitation and was the only Japanese woman in a group of five to meet with Prime Minister Abe and Mrs. Abe, at their request, to discuss the status of women in Japan. The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon, was conferred upon her by the Government of Japan in 2009. 

Dr. Takamura’s doctorate in social policy is from The Florence Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. Her M.S.W. and her B.A. degrees were received from the University of Hawaii-Manoa. Her master’s degree social work was focused on both clinical social work and social administration. Her undergraduate degree was in political science and sociology with a minor in English.

Jeanette Takamura is a sansei, born and raised in Hawaii. Her paternal ancestors are from Hiroshima and her maternal ancestors are from Fukuoka. She was able to learn about the history of her father’s and mother’s families from their koseki.

Richard T. Hara, PhD, MSSW, LCSW is a Lecturer in the Discipline of Social Work and Senior Associate Dean of MSW Education at the Columbia University School of Social Work. He received his Master of Science in Social Work from Columbia University, and was a clinical social worker at St. Luke’s Hospital and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City before becoming a program director at CancerCare, a national non-profit serving the needs of persons affected by cancer. He has presented and written on a range of topics including cancer survivorship, family caregiving, cultural competence in oncology social work, end-of-life care and bereavement counseling, and domestic violence screening and intervention in oncology settings. He teaches courses on direct practice, clinical case evaluation, and health care policy at the Columbia School of Social Work, in addition to his current role as director of their masters program. His community service includes providing group supervision for graduate volunteers staffing the Emotional Support Helpline, as part of the NYS OMH Pandemic Response Practicum; he is also an advisory board member for Japanese American Social Services Inc., a community-based nonprofit providing free social services to those in need in the New York metropolitan area.

Prior to his career in social work, Dr. Hara received his PhD in cultural anthropology from the City University of New York Graduate Center. His research was focused on family and household dynamics in rural Japan, and was supported by grants from the Fulbright Program and the Wenner-Gren Foundation, with research affiliations at Kyoto University and the National Museum of Ethnology, Japan.

Takashi Matsuki, M.D. is a board-certified psychiatrist trained in both medication management and psychotherapy to treat a wide variety of psychiatric disorders. He offers in-person and online sessions in both English and Japanese at his private practice on the Upper West Side and in Fort Lee, New Jersey. He also offers online sessions to clients in Texas, Alabama, Georgia, Washington, California, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Illinois. Dr. Matsuki is an Attending Psychiatrist in the Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program (CPEP) at Mount Sinai Morningside and West Hospitals and an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. At the hospital, he supervises a multi-disciplinary team of mental health professionals and teaches psychiatry residents and medical students.

Dr. Matsuki is very conservative with prescribing medications and almost always recommends psychotherapy to his clients. He utilizes a psychodynamic approach to help clients better understand how they interact with the world and how their previous experiences have shaped who they are today. Rather than focusing on a diagnosis, Dr. Matsuki likes to focus on the symptoms. He has a deep understanding of the mind-body connection and takes an integrative approach to ensure both a client’s mental and physical wellbeing are being taken care of.

Prior to pursuing a career in psychiatry and psychotherapy in the U.S., Dr. Matsuki had formal training and extensive clinical experience in primary care medicine in Japan. He was the Medical Director at Shonan Nagisa Medical Clinic in Fujisawa, where he served as a primary care physician for the largest medical home care organization in the country and provided medical services for bed-ridden/home-bound patients. He was actively involved in palliative care of terminally-ill patients.

Dr. Matsuki received his M.D. from Tokyo Medical and Dental University in Japan. He completed his rotating internship at the United States Naval Hospital in Yokosuka, where he learned outpatient and inpatient medicine and assisted as a medical liaison between United States Naval Hospital and local Japanese hospitals. He then completed the Japanese two-year mandatory postgraduate physician training program as a resident in Emergency and Primary Care Medicine at Yokosuka General Hospital. He then Completed ACGME-accredited psychiatry residency training program at Resident in Psychiatry: Mount Sinai Beth Israel in New York.

Dr. Matsuki serves on the Board of Japanese Medical Society of America and is involved in American Psychiatric Association, New York County Medical Society, and Japanese Medical Support Network Mental Health Network.

Kathleen M. Pike, PhD is Professor of Psychology at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. She serves as Director of the Columbia-WHO Center for Global Mental Health and Director of the Mental Health + Work Design Lab. She is Deputy Director of the Health and Aging Policy Fellows Program. 

Dr. Pike has pioneered initiatives on the global stage advocating for expanded mental health services and translating research into practice in under-resourced communities, schools and workplaces. She has provided consultation on mental health policies impacting mental health care delivery and opportunities to advance special care for particular mental conditions to lead Japanese parliamentary representatives and to the United States mental health policy organizations. Her scholarship focuses on eating disorders, culture and psychopathology, global mental health, and mental health at work. 

In Japan, where Dr. Pike resided for over a decade, she has held academic and administrative university appointments, including Professor of Psychology and Associate Dean for Research at Temple University Japan and Visiting Professor at Keio University. She received a Faculty Fulbright Award for research on eating disorders, an area of expertise where she has led pioneering work on risk factors, treatment development and implementation. During this time, she developed an internationally-disseminated and evidence-based relapse prevention treatment program of cognitive behavioral therapy for anorexia nervosa, and she conducts clinical training and education globally across the range of mental disorders to expand clinical and research capacity for treatment in low-resource communities and promote mental health literacy and advocacy for individuals with mental illness. Additionally, Dr. Pike has directed several programs that engage the arts to advance understanding and increase access to mental health services, including the Tohoku Theater Project, and served as vice-chair of the board of directors for TELL in Japan, the leading mental health center dedicated to serving the needs of the international community in Tokyo. Dr. Pike’s TEDxTokyo talk, Don’t Call Me Crazy has been viewed over 32,000 times. 

At USJC, Dr. Pike, who is also a USJC Council Leader, recently spoke at the Mental Wellness Affinity Group’s “Strengthening Mental Wellness through Cross-Cultural U.S.-Japan Insights” on May 26, 2022. She also hosted a workshop for the TOMODACHI J&J Disaster Nursing Training Program at Columbia University in 2015, bringing a delegation of Japanese nurses and their mentors from Tohoku to engage in learning and exchange about post-disaster health and healthcare, including mental health care.

Dr. Pike serves on the Advisory Board for the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, is a Trustee of the Jewish Board in NYC, and is a Trustee of the International Rescue Committee. She serves on the Board of Directors for Inseparable and is a member of Mindful Philanthropy’s Clinical Advisory Board. 

Dr. Pike earned her B.A. and M.A. in psychology and international studies at Johns Hopkins University and her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Yale University. She is the 2021 recipient of the American Psychological Association Award for Distinguished Contributions to the International Advancement of Psychology.