Hello! I’m glad you’re looking at the mental health page. Mental health is always going to fluctuate so recognizing that it needs attention is a big part of maintaining it. There may be times when you struggle to get out of bed and others when you can cook yourself a five-course meal; don’t forget that your best will be different everyday.
Be kind to yourself.
Below are some resources and support accessible to you while in Japan.
If talking with people back home is not helping your situation, reach out to your fellow JET participants (especially your District Representatives), co-workers, and supervisors. If you would like to speak with someone anonymously, you have several options:
- JET Online Counseling System
- Mental Health Counseling Assistance Subsidy
- Hospitals in Saga Offering English-language Mental Health Services
- AJET Peer Support Group
- Tokyo English Life Line
- International Mental Health Professionals Japan
JET Online Counseling System
*in hyperlinked pdf: scroll down for English*
Counselling is done through webmail (unlimited number) and Skype (max seven sessions per JET per year). The password changes every year in April. Your CO should give you the access password shortly after it changes. If you lost the password, please ask your supervisor or a PA.
Service is unable to make an official diagnosis.
Log in procedure:
You can gain access to the Online Counselling site via a communal log in and password from the CLAIR newsletter. To register for the newsletter you will need to use your JET Number. Please note your JET Number is NOT require to make an account for the Online Counselling services as that is anonymous.
Mental Health Counseling Assistance Subsidy
If a JET would like to receive professional mental health counseling, CLAIR provides a partial subsidy (50%, up to 30,000 yen per year) for counselling costs incurred through consultation with mental health professionals not covered by health insurance.
The coverage period for this year is from 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023. The application form must arrive at CLAIR by 7 April 2023 (Fri).
IMPORTANT: Receipts sent as proof of payment must display the name of the counselling institution (or provider), name of the applicant, date of payment, and costs incurred for the service(s)
To claim the Mental Health Counseling Assistance Subsidy:
- Pay for the counseling session out of pocket and save your receipts.
- Submit the “Assistance Programme Application Form” (Form 1) 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.
- The application should arrive at CLAIR by April 7, 2023. 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 (email@example.com) for assistance (they prefer Facebook messenger for communication). They offer this help for free, but it is nice to gift the volunteers at least 1000 to 2000 yen for their efforts and commute costs.
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.