August 22, 2016 – TELL, a not-for-profit organization that has provided mental health support and counseling services to Japan's international community for over 40 years, is organizing suicide prevention and awareness walks all across Japan to mark World Suicide Prevention Day on September 9 and September 10.
The Talkie Walkie events, which will take place in Tokyo, Yokohama, Kobe, Osaka, Kyoto and other cities, offer an opportunity for people to get together to support those who have been affected by mental illness, those who have experienced mental illness, and those who have lost someone to suicide.
This year, the theme of World Suicide Prevention Day is ‘Connect, Communicate, Care’, and making connections with someone who is struggling is something we can all do, one of the most effective actions we can take to keep people safe. Research has shown that positive relationships —with family members, teachers, co-workers, community organizations and social institutions— can help increase a person’s sense of belonging, foster a sense of personal worth, and provide access to sources of support.
“Open communication is vital if we are to combat suicide,” said Vickie Skorji, Director of TELL Lifeline. “In many communities, suicide is shrouded in silence or spoken of only in hushed tones. We need to discuss suicide as we would any other public health issue if we are to dispel myths about it and reduce the stigma surrounding it. We can all help by staying connected to one another, and by listening when our friends, relatives and colleagues want to talk.
“On September 10th, we’re asking members of the international community in Japan – a country tragically afflicted by suicide – to join with others around the world who are working towards the common goal of preventing suicide. You can join one of our walks in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto or Kobe. Or you can hold your own walk for TELL anywhere in Japan, and help raise important funds to help take our Lifeline 24/7. You can also reach out to someone you may be concerned about, and start a conversation with them, asking them how they’re doing.”
TELL Lifeline receives approximately 6,000 calls a year from all over Japan, of which roughly 60 percent come from Japanese citizens and 40 percent from Japan-resident foreigners.
Established in 1973, TELL is a not-for-profit organization providing world-class mental health support and counseling services to Japan's international community and the community at large. TELL’s services include free phone counseling and information, professional face-to-face counseling, and educational workshops. In 2011 alone, the TELL Lifeline responded to nearly 6,000 calls for help, TELL Counseling provided over 3.200 professional psychotherapy and counseling sessions, and TELL’s workshops and outreach programs provided training and support to hundreds in multiple settings, such as schools, businesses and NGOs. For more information on TELL and its services, please visit http://www.telljp.com/.