Back to school has happened in Japan, while people continue to work from home and take daily measures to protect ourselves from COVID-19. This year, people’s physical and mental health has been impacted all over the world more than ever due to the many stressors and challenges that seem to have become the new “normal” overnight. In Japan the stigma surrounding mental health is greater than most countries leading to so many people struggling to manage on their own in shame and silence. The WHO is calling on people all over the world to take action this year, starting this month, and make mental health a priority.
We have worked hard and expanded our team to meet the increasing needs for support and resources nationally. This Fall there were over 60 applicants for our Lifeline Volunteer training program, and 40 applicants were accepted. The first day of training, done for the first time 100% virtually via Zoom, was a great success and we look forward to a new group of volunteers joining the Line after training is completed. We are extremely excited to share that with so much interest in the Lifeline Volunteer training program, TELL has brought on another team member to assist the longtime trainer.
While we would normally be climbing Tokyo Tower this month for World Suicide Prevention Day, to maintain the safety of our community, we are holding the “Step Up for Mental Health Challenge”, a Japan-wide event challenging teams and individuals to walk 20,169 steps in honor of the 20,169 lives lost to suicide last year in Japan. The event has gotten off to a great start and we are so grateful to all of our supporters who are stepping up for mental health and suicide prevention.
We continue to receive donations toward “Girls Matter: Stop Sexual Violence in Japan” and appreciate the recognition by our community here in Japan and in around the world of how important it is to stop the violence, especially at a time when additional stressors are causing young people to be affected in unexpected and challenging ways. Let’s keep up the support for those among us who are very much in need of it.
Your donations make a real difference in the lives of girls in Japan, and that is how, together, we can bring about significant change and build a healthy and vibrant community. Won’t you be a part of the fight to end the violence?