If your life is in danger, call the police at 110

Happy New Year 2022

Firstly, I would like to start this message by conveying our heartfelt thanks to all the very many people that support TELL – the devoted volunteers of the Lifeline, the therapists of our clinical services, our board directors, and support staff, and mostly, all our friends and partners.  You all have lovingly devoted time, effort, and resources to furthering TELL’s mission of providing the best, most effective support and counseling services to the international community, and also many in the Japanese community.

Secondly, please allow me to take this opportunity to introduce myself. Until my recent appointment in July as TELL’s Executive Director, I worked for many years in the Japanese music business, mostly in Business Strategy and Human Resources. It was my time in Human Resources that brought me into contact with many of the mental healthcare needs of the music industry (affected just like any other industry by these issues – especially during the current pandemic), finally bringing me to TELL.  

Thirdly, I would like to talk about TELL’s record in 2021. In 2021, 130 Lifeline volunteers covered 1865 shifts and for the first time, obtained 100% coverage for the community. 737 shifts were by phone, while 1128 were by chat, making approximately 7890 connections, speaking with more than 1600 actively suicidal users – a 31% increase over 2020. We connected with more young people than ever, and 69 people took training this year for Lifeline support workers. 

TELL Outreach delivered 82 workshops, a mix of community and corporate ones, with over 3,200 people attending our workshops this year!

In the Clinic, referrals were higher than ever, both in Tokyo and other regions such as Okinawa. TELL is fast becoming a major healthcare provider in this country. Furthermore, working with companies, TELL has delivered more than 450 EAP sessions – where TELL provided assessments and testing for organizations in 2021 – 185 more sessions than in the previous year, and this number is expected to grow in 2022. 

Some exciting developments are on the way at TELL next year. In April, TELL will be holding its first conference on the subject of “Building Resilience”. The two-day conference will be open to the public.  Coming up, we have some very exciting speakers talking about their experience of resilience and how to facilitate it. Please access the tell.jp website in the weeks ahead to find out further details. Also, we hope the Tower Climb will be making its return after an absence of two years, as will STEP-UP – such a resounding success in 2021 (A total of 71 Community teams, 63 school teams, 45 Corporate teams, and 180 solo entrants took up the challenge. Participants totaled an incredible 12,749,992 steps for mental health and suicide prevention all across Japan, generating an important 1,240,299 yen that will go towards the operation of the TELL Lifeline and our quest for a 24/7 crisis service). 

It’s very easy to support TELL in any way you can: train to be a Lifeline volunteer or support worker, donate, make grants or sponsor through your organization, among others. 

Lastly, Twitter tells me that Yale University’s most popular course in its 320-year history is titled “The Psychology of Well-Being.” Yale professors studied many happy people to find out what works to create happiness, and these are:

1. Spending time with friends and family.
2. Practicing gratitude
3. Practicing optimism
4. Physical activity
5. Money (only has a mild effect on happiness once you hit a certain income level)
6. Time (once you have enough of 5, focus on using it to get more control over your time).

Here is the free course: https://www.coursera.org/learn/the-science-of-well-being.

Wishing you, your family, and everyone in your life the happiest of years in 2022!

Giles Duke

Executive Director