Doctors: Japan nuclear plant workers face stigma
His team started to receive some research funding from the Health Ministry in April.
Shigemura predicts that the rate of post-traumatic stress disorder among Fukushima workers 2-3 years after the disaster will surpass the rate among 9/11 rescue and recovery workers, which a 2007 study in The American Journal of Psychiatry said was 12.4 percent.
TEPCO says it is considering hiring a full-time psychiatrist to help meet the mental health needs of workers at the plant, but that there are a shortage of such experts, particularly in the Fukushima region.
“The public’s trust in TEPCO has declined, so we will work to improve that,” said Yuji Ohya, an official with the company’s health and safety department. “Hopefully as that improves, it will boost the workers’ spirits.”
Associated Press Writer Mari Yamaguchi contributed to this report.