Over 5,000 Teachers In Japan Suffer From Mental Illness

Depression or other mental illness have forced more than 5,000 school teachers in Japan to take leave during the last fiscal year, says a government survey.

The survey conducted by the country's Education Ministry on teachers at public elementary, junior and senior high schools, and special schools found that 8,544 teachers had taken sick leave, out which 5,274 (62 percent) were suffering from mental illnesses, Japan's NHK broadcaster reported on Monday.

It was the fourth consecutive year for the number to top 5,000, and double the figure of ten years ago, the report said.

The Ministry says teachers aged 40 or above tend to be stressed because of heavy workload, while teachers in their 20s and 30s worry about how to communicate with parents.

The Ministry plans to take measures, including reviewing teachers' workload, improving consultation systems, and creating rehabilitation programs for teachers on leave, the broadcaster said.

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