Dec 26, 2019

December Activity Report

Dear Friend, 

It was a very busy Fall for TELL and we are eager to update you on all that we have been doing here in the community. Our expanding team has been reaching more people than ever by providing workshops, face-to-face counselling and by continuing to have our crucial crisis support Lifeline and chat service. 

As part of World Mental Health Day, TELL & together with Juri Watanabe (Miss Kyoto in this year's Miss World Japan competition), asked for people to be part of our  #GiveHeartsforLife campaign. This campaign encouraged people around the country to write words of support and encouragement to those struggling with mental health issues using the hashtag#GiveHeartsforLife and to share these messages with TELL’s social media platforms (@telljapan) throughout the month of September & October. 

TELL also celebrated Stress down week with workshops, yoga, and mindfulness activities, and in October around 200 people proudly walked with TELL in the Osaka Pride march, around 60 people marched with TELL and Stonewall in Kyushu.  In November TELL made noise about domestic violence and child abuse survivors, men’s mental health and the importance of volunteers.

Our Fall 2019 support training had over 50 applications and 40 volunteers were accepted into the program. At the start of December 31 volunteers had graduated from the online portion of the training and are working through their protocols before taking shifts on our line. We hope in February/March to have around 120 - 130 volunteer support workers and to extend our chat service hours. 

Sadly the number of bullying incidents and child abuse continue to increase in Japan placing an increasing number of youths at risk. Last year 164,528 students were absent from school for more than 30 days, a record high. Many of the students cited bullying as the main reason they no longer wanted to attend school. In Yamaguchi, a female student attempted suicide earlier this month, following months of repeated bullying, despite bringing the incidents to the school officials.  The police and the education board are now investigating the situation, but sadly there too many similar situations occurring across the country placing increasing numbers of youths at risk.

At TELL, we believe that there is a more pressing need than ever before to provide a safe space for young people who are struggling. The international community in Japan continues to grow, and with the Rugby happening this Fall and the Olympics around the corner, we continue to push toward our funding goal of a 24-hour Lifeline.

We hope you will consider supporting our project and work in Japan.

Your donations matter and can make a real difference in a young person’s life.

Saving lives is a community effort. Will you help us?

Nov 5, 2019

Fighting For A Culture Of Respect & Equality

Yuri Watanabe
Yuri Watanabe

Dear Friend, 

It is nearly the end of the year and over the past few months TELL has been busy making noise about suicide prevention, mental health, LGBTQ+ issues, disaster preparation, cultural adjustment & supports for young people with special needs.

In September we made a lot of noise about mental health issues and in particular suicide. Our Tokyo Tower climb sold out again, and despite an impending typhoon, 500 people took on the challenge to climb the 600 steps and make a noise about suicide prevention issues in Japan. We also held suicide prevention walks in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Kobe, Kyoto, and Sendai, in which volunteers handed out cards in English & Japanese highlighting the warning signs & how to support someone who might be struggling. 

 As part of World Mental Health Day, TELL, together with Juri Watanabe, (Miss Kyoto in this year's Miss World Japan competition), asked for people to be part of our  #GiveHeartsforLife campaign. This campaign encouraged people around the country to write words of support and encouragement to those struggling with mental health issues using the hashtag#GiveHeartsforLife and to share these messages with TELL’s social media platforms (@telljapan) throughout the month of September & October. 

TELL also celebrated Stress Down week with workshops, yoga, and mindfulness activities, and in October around 200 people proudly walked with TELL in the Osaka Pride march.  Over the last few months of the year, TELL will be making a noise about domestic violence, child abuse, suicide survivors, men’s mental health and the importance of volunteers.  

Finally, we would like to give you an update on the situation surrounding sexual abuse in Japan. Earlier this year hundreds of sexual abuse survivors marched in nine cities around Japan to protest a series of acquittals for several alleged rapists. The women are demanding changes by the government to better reform the current anti-rape laws. While important reforms were made in 2017, the law still currently requires prosecutors to prove that violence or intimidation was involved or that the survivor was "incapable of resistance." to prove rape. This means as far as the Japanese legal system is concerned, in a case of sexual assault, incest or rape, “no” only means “no” if the survivor backs it up with violence and loud resistance, something many survivors particularly young survivors are not able to do. 

As we work towards our funding goal, TELL will continue to fight for a culture of respect and equality for all in Japan. Thank you, for your support of TELL and our work in Japan. We hope you feel proud of your contributions and the difference you are helping to make in Japan. 

Sendai Suicide Prevention Walk
Sendai Suicide Prevention Walk
Stress Down Workshop
Stress Down Workshop
2019 Tokyo Tower Climb
2019 Tokyo Tower Climb

Links:

Sep 24, 2019

September Report

Suicide Prevention Walks
Suicide Prevention Walks

Dear Friend, 

It has been several months since our last report and I wanted to give you an update on our activities over the past months. TELL has been busy delivering workshops, providing face to face counseling and running our crisis support Lifeline and chat service. During this time we trained 28 potential support worker volunteers in our Spring 2019 training in which 16 people graduated to our Lifeline and have begun taking solo calls and chat shifts. For our Fall 2019 training, we have received over 60 applications and we hope to train 40 volunteers. 

We have delivered 18 workshops in Tokyo, Kansai, and Okinawa, on a wide range of topics from mental health in the workplace, to communicating with teens, cyberbullying, and sexual harassment in the workplace just to name a few. We also marched in the Tokyo Rainbow Pride Festival, making noise about youth LGBTQIA mental health issues and handing out information cards and resources to over 1000 people. On May 30th we held a free screening of the BBC documentary ‘Japan’s Secret Shame’ and in July in conjunction with WeWorks & McCanns, we celebrated Stress Less Day with a range of free workshops and mediation activities. 

For World Suicide Prevention Day we held our 3rd Tokyo Tower Climb, in which 500 people took on the challenge to climb the tower in awareness of suicide prevention. We also held Suicide Prevention Talkie Walkies, in Sendai, Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, & Nagoya. 

As part of the global call for action to prevent suicides,  the WHO, stressed that young people are especially vulnerable and that more than half of all those who commit suicide are under the age of 45. And among 15-29-year-olds, suicide is, in fact, second only to road accidents as the leading cause of death. Here in Japan, the 2018 White Paper, reported that youth suicides hit an all-time high in 2018, in which family-related matters such as discipline issues or bad parental relationships were major factors for elementary and junior high school students. For high school and university students, poor academic performance and worries about the future were major risk factors. 

Providing support in a manner young people prefer, and allowing them a safe space to talk through their concerns is vital. As we work towards our funding goal, TELL will continue to break down the barriers and fight against the stigma surrounding mental illness in Japan.

We hope you will consider supporting our project and work in Japan.

Your donations matter and can make a real difference in a young person’s life.

Saving lives is a community effort. Will you help us?



Stress Down Workshops
Stress Down Workshops
Screening Japan's Secret Shame
Screening Japan's Secret Shame
Tokyo Tower
Tokyo Tower
Tokyo Tower
Tokyo Tower
Tokyo Tower
Tokyo Tower
Give hearts For Life
Give hearts For Life
Tohoku Suicide Prevention Walk
Tohoku Suicide Prevention Walk
 
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