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TELL Volunteer Voices with Mimi

mimi iwasaki

Read TELL Volunteer Voices with Mimi:

  1. Why Mental Health? What does it mean to you?

Mental health is just as fundamental as my physical health. Mental health is also about practicing mindfulness and being wholehearted. This is something I only realized through self-reflection over the last year. In the past, I associated the term ‘Mental Health’ with those who were either born or have developed mental disabilities who are in need of extensive medical care.

2. Why is mental health an important topic to be discussed?

Mental health is an important topic to be discussed because, like many, I grew up thinking that it was “taboo” to talk about it. It makes you feel isolated by thinking that you are the only one going through these problems, and everyone else around you aren’t. By opening up communication, many who are struggling are given a place to share their stories in a safe environment.

3. Why would you be interested in volunteering with TELL?

I am interested in volunteering with TELL because I struggled with my mental health and always felt alone in my struggle. I spoke to a therapist at one point who told me, “Your struggle is not THAT BAD, because you’re still able to function to a minimum in your daily activities.” I felt I was not understood. I could not open up to people around me because of the fear of being told the same thing. I finally opened up to the people closest to me after a long struggle and felt a huge weight lifting off my shoulders because they were very accepting of me and what I was going through. I would like to provide the same safety and support to those who are not able to share what they are going through with anyone.

4. What makes volunteering experience for mental health topics a meaningful use of your time?

Volunteering experience for mental health topics is a meaningful use of my time because I would like to deep dive into the many topics that can be discussed. There are still a lot of things I do not know about mental health, and there are a lot of things to learn. Many go through their experiences differently and that is also something I’m interested in understanding.

5. What may be the biggest personal benefit you receive as a volunteer for TELL?

Not only would I be able to extend my support to others, but it would also help me understand and grow as an individual. Self-awareness, self-development is extremely important to me and needs constant work on just as much as my physical health and my 9-5 office job.

7. What more information about mental health would you like to know or spread awareness about?

Depression/anxiety. Inner-child/childhood trauma. Coping mechanisms.

8. Why would you choose to support TELL?

I chose to support TELL because I would like to support the English-speaking community in Tokyo.

9. What motivated you to work with TELL?  

What motivated me was my own continuous journey of self-discovery.