Hello BT’ers! I received the comment below from Mr. Andrew Grimes, JFP & JSCCP in response to the article, Suicide Crisis Continues. Mr. Grimes is the founder and Director of Tokyo Counseling Services.

Tokyo Counseling Services professional counselors are all qualified JSCCP Clinical Psychologists licensed to practice in Japan. Their Psychotherapists are qualified and registered by The Japan Federation for Psychotherapy and provide individual counseling, couples counseling, marriage counseling and family counseling. group therapy and psychotherapy services.

Counseling and therapy services are available in English, German, Japanese and Portuguese for all residents living in the Tokyo region.provides some very useful information.

Please be sure to share this information with others.

[Grimes] “I am a JSCCP clinical psychologist and JFP psychotherapist working in Japan for over 20 years. I would like to put forward a perspective on some of the main reasons behind the unacceptably high suicide numbers Japan and so will limit my comments to what I know about here in Japan

Mental health professionals in Japan have long known that the reason for the unnecessarily high suicide rate in Japan is due to unemployment, bankruptcies, and the increasing levels of stress on businessmen and other salaried workers who have suffered enormous hardship in Japan since the fallout of the bursting of the stock market bubble here that peaked around 1997. Until that year Japan had annual suicide of rate figures between 22,000 and 24,000 each year. Following the bursting of the stock market and the long term economic downturn that has followed here since the suicide rate in 1998 increased by around 35% and since 1998 the number of people killing themselves each year in Japan has consistently remained well over 30,000 each and every year to the present day.

The current worldwide recession is of course impacting Japan too, so unless the new administration initiates very proactive and well funded local and nationwide suicide prevention programs and other mental health care initiatives, including tackling the widespread problem of clinical depression suffered by so many of the general population, it is very difficult to foresee the previous government’s stated target to reduce the suicide rate to around 23,000 by the year 2016 as being achievable. On the contrary the numbers, and the human suffering and the depression and misery that the people who become part of these numbers, have to endure may well stay at the current levels that have persistently been the case here for the last ten years. It could even get worse unless even more is done to prevent this terrible loss of life.

During these last ten years of these relentlessly high annual suicide rate numbers the English media seems in the main to have done little more than have someone goes through the files and do a story on the so-called suicide forest or internet suicide clubs and copycat suicides (whether cheap heating fuel like charcoal briquettes or even cheaper household cleaning chemicals) and mirrors at stations, and now lights at stations, without focusing on the bigger picture and need for effective action and solutions.

Economic hardship, bankruptcies and unemployment have been the main cause of suicide in Japan over the last 10 years, as the well detailed reports behind the suicide rate numbers that have been issued every year until now by the National Police Agency in Japan show only to clearly if any journalist is prepared to learn Japanese or get a bilingual researcher to do the research to get to the real heart of the tragic story of the long term and unnecessarily high suicide rate problem in Japan.”

Some other useful telephone numbers and links for residents of Tokyo and Japan who speak Japanese and/or Engish and are feeling depressed or suicidal and need to get in touch with a mental health professional qualified in Japan:

Inochi no Denwa (Lifeline Telephone Service):
Japan: 0120-738-556
Tokyo: 3264 4343

AMDA International Medical Information Center:
http://amda-imic.com/

Tokyo Counseling Services:

http://tokyocounseling.com/english/
http://tokyocounseling.com/jp/

Source: Mr. Andrew Grimes JFP, JSCCP