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Monday, January 11, 2010

English lifeline helping out both foreigners, Japanese

By Maya Kaneko
With suicides topping 30,000 for the 12th consecutive year in 2009, the international community has not proved immune to the mental health challenges posed by this stressful country, and the prolonged economic downturn has only made problems worse.

Tokyo English Life Line, which has been providing free and anonymous English-language telephone counseling for more than 35 years, extends a helping hand to both expatriates and Japanese facing depression, suicide temptation, problems in cultural adjustment, relationships and the workplace, as well as health concerns.
A nonprofit organization, TELL is associated with the Japanese-language telephone counseling service Inochi no Denwa and has about 90 volunteer counselors in their 20s to 70s who handle up to 7,000 calls a year. Depression was the top reason for help calls in 2008.
The service is open 365 days a year from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., and knowledge of it has spread mainly by word of mouth among the diplomatic and business communities, as well as international schools, according to Linda Semlitz, a U.S. psychiatrist who serves as clinical director of TELL’s community counseling service. Read more here....

1 comment:

  1. In Japan there are many good mental health care resources nationwide in hospitals, psychiatric health centers and over 160 recognized counseling centers in Tokyo Metropolitan region some of which have services in languages other then Japanese. For expats who have not learned Japanese before coming to Japan they can of course experience difficulties, here are some contact details for other counseling and medical informatoin centers to help them:

    How to Find a JSCCP Approved Counseling Center in Tokyo and Throughout Japan (This is the web version of the JSCCP publication: "Rinshoushinrishi deau tame ni"):

    AMDA International Medical Information Center:

    Himari - Tokyo Metropolitan Health and Medical Information Center:

    Tokyo Counseling Services:

    Counseling and Psychotherapy in Tokyo and Japan: