March is Suicide Prevention Month in Japan. March is a time of great transition: the end of the school year, the time to interview for new jobs, and a time when reports are due, contracts signed, and taxes filed. It’s a stressful period for many and is typically the month in Japan with the highest number of suicides.
Although the number of suicides had been on the decline for ten years, in 2020, with the advent of COVID-19, suicides in Japan have sadly climbed for the past three years. In 2022, we saw an increase of 577 lives lost to suicide over the previous year.
Help us this March to raise awareness about the importance of mental health care. Look for the light up of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building in Shinjuku from March 9th to 18th. It will be lit in four colors, representing “noticing, listening, connecting, and watching.” We can all play a part in making a safer, more compassionate society where nobody is driven to suicide. Over the weekend of March 4 and 5, we are extending our hours of operations and our Lifeline Support Workers will be there 24 hours. For anyone who is struggling you are not alone and there is help, please check our website for further details about phone and chat availability.