In 2011, an earthquake, a tsunami, and a nuclear disaster struck Japan. The town of Hirono in the Fukushima prefecture was affected, and its youth still live with the effects of the nuclear fallout. Today Online reveals how these youngsters are benefiting from trips to Singapore for a two-week art therapy programme.

The Programme’s Origins

Funded by the Red Cross Singapore, the programme is called the Miracle Kutchie experience, and it is run by Today is the Day, a non-profit organisation directed by Noritoshi Hirakawa. The LaSalle College of Arts is also heavily involved in the programme, with particular assistance from Milenko Prvacki, a visual artist and a teacher at LaSalle.

When the Fukushima disaster occurred, many resources and programmes were organised to help the afflicted towns. However, there was nothing that specifically dealt with the trauma and suffering that the children endured. Hirakawa wanted to change that, but he knew that there were challenges. “Therapy is also still somewhat a touchy subject in Japan,” he says. “The Japanese don’t like to address the topic or that they need counselling or therapy.”

The Ideal Location

Instead of hosting the retreat in Japan, Hirakawa chose the city-state of Singapore. Mental health in Singapore is more widely understood and supported than it is in Japan, and the area is radiation-free, attractive, and modern, with many art galleries and other resources. Plus, the significant number of Japanese living in Singapore gives Hirakawa a large pool of volunteers from which to draw from. It is the perfect place for young people to come and experience various forms of art therapy.

Success After a Slow Start

The inaugural retreat in 2014 had just eight kids, since many parents from Hirono were suspicious of the programme. Over the next few years, word of the programme’s positive effects spread among the families affected by Fukushima. The number of children enrolled in the retreat has since more than doubled.

Activities During the Visit

During the two-week trip to Singapore, the group of youngsters will visit Sentosa and the Art Science Museum at Marina Bay Sands. The rest of the time focuses on various forms of art therapy, self-expression, workshops, and cultural enrichment. The kids are between the ages of nine and twelve, and each one of them has suffered from the trauma and radiation in some way. During private art therapy sessions, they can explore their emotions connected with the event and express those feelings in visual form. At the conclusion of the programme, the kids show off their artistic works at their own exhibition and farewell party.

Art Therapy at Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic

Have you suffered a significant trauma in your life? Perhaps you know someone who might benefit from art therapy in order to deal with suppressed emotions. Art therapy is available at Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic, where some of the best psychiatrists in Singapore offer caring, comprehensive treatment for people with various trauma-related issues and mental disorders. If you believe that you or someone you know could benefit from art therapy, contact Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic to arrange a consultation. We’ll help you discover how a complete treatment package, including art therapy, can help you cope with mental issues and improve your outlook on life.

News Feed from Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic

Source: Today, 2 August, 2016