If you are feeling down and would like someone to talk to, your fellow JET participants, co-workers, and supervisors are here for you. If you would like to speak with someone anonymously, you have several options:
JET Online Counseling System
The Akita JET Page has a detailed explanation on how to use the free online counseling system for JETs. Counselling is done through webmail (unlimited number) and Skype (max seven sessions per JET per year). Your CO should give you the access password in July.
Mental Health Counseling Assistance Subsidy
If a JET would like to receive professional mental health counseling, CLAIR may cover up to 50% of counseling costs. A maximum of 30,000 yen is available for each JET for the period of April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020.
To claim the Mental Health Counseling Assistance Subsidy:
- Pay for the counseling session out of pocket and save your receipts.
- Submit the application for Mental Health Counseling Assistance Subsidy to your Contracting Organization (ask your local CLAIR representative to explain to your Contracting Organization if they do not have the information on hand). You should attach the receipts and a copy of the inside cover of your bank book.
- Your Contracting Organization should submit the application to CLAIR by April 10, 2020. CLAIR will review the application and let you know if you qualify.
- If you qualify, the subsidy will be paid directly into your bank account.
Hospitals in Saga Offering English-language Mental Health Services
Hizen Psychiatric Center in Kanzaki
Matsunaga Mental Health Clinic in Takeo
Both of these hospitals require reservations. The websites are in Japanese only, but don’t be discouraged! If you need help making a reservation or need an interpreter if meeting with a non-English speaking doctor or counselor, please contact SPIRA (firstname.lastname@example.org) for assistance. (They offer this help for free!)
AJET Peer Support Group
The AJET Peer Support Group (PSG) is the JET Community’s confidential and anonymous listening and referral support service. The PSG is open from 8pm to 7am – a period when other services such as the Tokyo English Life Line (TELL) are not in service, and when Prefectural Advisors (PAs) are often unavailable. PSG volunteers are all current JET Programme participants.
You can reach the PSG via Skype by voice calling the username AJETPSG between 20:00 and 07:00. If you are unable to get through Skype, or you would prefer an even higher level of anonymity, feel free to call the normal hotline number at 050-5534-5566. The PSG National Coordinator can be contacted anytime via email.
Tokyo English Life Line:
Free, anonymous help-line from 9 AM to 11 PM and a chat service available 10:30 PM to 2 AM, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Longer-term distance counseling sessions available for a sliding fee.
International Mental Health Professionals Japan
Association of therapists who provide mental health services to the international community in Japan. The associates are professionals, so there is a fee involved with these sessions. Several members, notably Nan Yamada and Jim McRae, have extensive experience working with JET Programme participants.