Immediate Help and Resources for English-Speakers in Japan
Police: 03-3501-0110. Monday – Friday, 8:30 am – 5:15 pm. After hours, dial 110 and stay on the line. They will find someone who can help you.
Fire & Ambulance: Dial 119 and stay on the line. They will find someone who can help you.
Poison Control: US Air Force Hospital Yokota, 0425-52-2511, ext. 57740. 24 hours.
About TELL Lifeline
Tokyo can be a rough city. Crowded trains, language barriers, and difficulty adjusting to a new land and a new way of life can chip away at the confidence and soul of even the most stalwart expat. Family issues, money problems, addictions, and the other ailments facing the modern city dweller may cause some to simply give in to despair.
If you are living in Tokyo, you may feel isolated from others and that your problems are overwhelming. But help is available in the form of the TELL Lifeline. Founded in 1972, TELL has helped hundreds of thousands of people throughout Japan.
How the TELL Lifeline Can Help You
The original TELL Lifeline service is the free, anonymous counseling number: 03-5774-0992.
But you do not have to be in dire need to call or visit their website for help. TELL offers numerous services to the community, from counseling services to outreach programs to a wiki for handling everyday annoyances.
Counseling: Sometimes life can be overwhelming, and more in-depth assistance may be needed. It doesn’t matter whether you live in the middle of Tokyo or in a small town in Kyushu – you can call TELL and get help (phone number for counseling services is 03-4550-1146 in English and 03-4550-1147 in Japanese). TELL offers services to adults, youths, children, and even has resources for issues in the workplace.
TELL can set up face-to-face counseling or provide it over the Internet, so distance is not a reason to avoid calling. Japanese National Health Insurance does not cover counseling, but TELL offers a sliding-scale fee system to make care affordable to those who need it.
Outreach Programs: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. TELL offers a number of outreach programs, covering topics ranging from Child Protection and Anti-Bullying to Exceptional Parenting and Suicide Awareness and Prevention, and a whole lot more. Visit the website or call 03-4550-1911 to learn about their programs to help you and your family live a happier, safer life.
Online Directory: TELL’s online directory can help you with a multitude of not-emergency-but-still-important issues. the wiki covers topics ranging from legal and health issues all the way down to finding a bookstore or library so you can read a bedtime story that night. Best of all, you can contribute to this wiki, allowing English speakers living in Japan to pool their knowledge and help each other.
How You Can Help the TELL Lifeline
TELL offers a wide range of services to the community, but they need help too! TELL receives no government funds and relies on the community to help them continue their good work.
Donations: You can donate directly to TELL via Paypal, Bank Transfer, or Postal Transfer, either as a one-time donation or by offering monthly support. Donations are tax-deductible.
You can also donate goods and services, such as bottled water and energy drinks, serviceable IT gear and office supplies, etc. as detailed in the link.
Volunteer: TELL needs you! TELL is always looking for counselors for the TELL Lifeline. Although difficult, there are many rewards for becoming a a Lifeline Phone Counselor beyond just helping those in need. If you want to become a Lifeline Phone Counselor, follow this link for more information.
Not all volunteer opportunities require a large commitment. TELL always needs volunteers for events and to help with office work at busy times of the year. Follow the link to learn more about volunteering.
TELL is constantly raising awareness for suicide prevention and other issues. They hold a regular Pub Quiz at the Hobgoblin in Shibuya, an annual Runathon, and many other events. Keep up with the latest TELL events on their website by following this link.
Life can get you down sometimes, but that doesn’t mean you have to face everything alone. Take care out there, Japan. TELL is here if you need them.
For more information on living in Tokyo, please click on one of the links below–