Mental Health

Living in a foreign country adds a lot of stress to your mind and body. Make sure you take care of your mental health as well as your physical health, and keep in touch with friends and family in Japan and back home.

If you feel you need to speak to someone, you have a few options.
  • Your PAs
    If you don't know where to go for mental health resources, the PAs may be able to direct you
  • AJET Peer Support Group (PSG) or by Skype “AJETPSG” or by phone 050-5534-5566 (daily 20:00-7:00) For anonymous counseling from a trained JET somewhere in Japan. Best for issues that can be resolved with one phone call or require privacy. (Also available to WI-ALTs and other non-JETs)
  • CLAIR Online Counseling service (webmail) (skype)
    Free anonymous counseling by bilingual mental health professionals located in Japan. Requires password to log in; to get the password, ask your CO for the flyer. (For JETs only; see below)
  • Tokyo English Life Line (TELL) or by phone 03-5774-0992 (daily 9:00-23:00)
    Medical English hotline with lots of resources and counseling options in Tokyo.
  • International Mental Health Professionals Japan (IMHPJ) or email
    A network of English-speaking mental health professionals, many of whom are located in Tokyo. Dr. Jim McRae and Nan Yamada were members of the former Counseling System Committee that supported JETs and are familiar with the JET Program and ALT situation in general.
  • Japan Helpline: or by phone 0570-000-911 or toll free: 0120-46-1997 (daily 24/7)
  • Women's Hotline (counseling - legal and psychological support) Yokohama: English and Chinese: (04) 4271-0091
  • AIDS Hotline: Every day (24 hours) Toll Free: 0120-46-1995
  • Japan HIV Centre English Hotline: Tokyo (SAT. 12:00 - 15:00) 03-5259-0256
    Maintains a staff of trained hotline counselors who provide information and counseling concerning HIV infection and AIDS in Japanese (in 3 cities) and in English (Tokyo).
  • Rape Crisis Center of Tokyo http: Phone: 03-3207-3692 E-mail: Counseling service is available on 
Wednesdays 6 to 9 p.m.
 Saturdays 3 to 6 p.m. 
(Currently available in Japanese only.) There are about 15 members on our staff, and telephone counseling service is available twice a week. All staff members are women who volunteered. To become a staff member one must receive 6 months training which raises consciousness about rape and cultivates consideration toward rape victims.
  • HELP Asian Women's Shelter Tel: 03 3368 8855 Fax: 03 3368 9791 Hotline: 03 3368 8855 English, Tagalog, and Thai speakers are available, telephone counseling service is available from Monday to Saturday, 9:30am to 5:30pm
    HELP (Housing in Emergency of Love and Peace) Asian Women's Shelter in Tokyo, provides emergency housing relief and support to approximately two hundred needy recipients annually. Just under fifty percent of these are from Japan, the remainder being mostly from other Asian countries -Thailand, the Philippines and Taiwan - with some from other developing nations such as Colombia and Iran, and a handful of Western women from the US, Canada and the UK. As well as providing food and shelter, HELP is also able to aid its residents with legal, medical and nationality problems.
  • Emergency Interpretation Service (for Medical Institutions) Tokyo: Mon-Fri (5pm-10pm): (03) 5285-8185
  • Overeaters Anonymous
    TEL: 03-5605-9425 (taped message)
    Branches in Tokyo and around Japan.
    -This group provides support for all eating disorders, including anorexics and bulimics.
  • The AMDA International Medical Information Center: Tokyo Center : 03-5285-8088 English, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Thai (Weekdays) 9:00~17:00
    A non-profit service that provides information and translation services for foreign residents. They can assist you with translations if you find yourself in a hospital with only Japanese-speaking staff, and can help explain the Japanese health system. The service is offered in many languages. (Also numbers for Kansai).
  • Poisoning:
    U.S. Naval Hospital, Yokosuka: 046-826-1911 ext. 7144
    U.S. Air Force Hospital, Yokota: 042-552-2511 ext. 57852, emergency room extension: 57740

For support for LGBT, religious, vegetarian/vegan, etc. topics, see the Special Interest Groups page.
For more on domestic and sexual violence, see the AJET PSG wiki page.

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About the CLAIR Online Counseling Service (webmail) (skype)
CLAIR sponsors an online counseling system for JETs that consists of webmail and Skype-based counseling methods. The system, which is totally free and anonymous, connects JETs with bilingual professional counselors in Japan. It is not intended for emergency or long-term use, but it may still be a valuable resource in helping you deal with a problem.

To use the system, first you need the login code listed on the flyer (which has also been sent to each CO). Then you need to create an account, and log in with that account. Here are some common questions that have come up:

Q. Is it really anonymous?
A. The only information collected is usage statistics like how often the system is used. CLAIR, your CO, your school, your PAs, and anyone else will have no way of knowing if you use the system. You could compromise your own anonymity by making your username your real name, or using an email with your name in it, but even if you did so, that information does not go back to your CO. You do not have to ask anyone’s permission or notify anyone to use the system.

Q. But it asks for a company code!
A: That refers to the password on the flyer. This password changes yearly so make sure you get the current password. You do not need your JET number or any personal identifying information.

Q. Is there a limit on how much I can use the system?
A. First, you should try the webmail counseling. There is a character limit in the message you can send, and you can exchange/send messages up to 3 times before you have to start a new thread. You can start unlimited threads.
You can also do Skype counseling up to 5 times per user per year. Last-minute cancellations will count as a consultation.

Q. What kinds of things can I get counseling about?
A. Anything, but keep in mind the limitations of the system. You may not receive a response for a few days, so the system is not for emergencies. Also counselors cannot prescribe medication or diagnose conditions.

Q. What if I need medication?
A. The counselors cannot prescribe medication, but if you see a psychiatric doctor, you can apply for a reimbursement up to a certain amount through your CO.

Q. Can non-JETs use the system?
A. No, it is for current JET participants only, so family and friends of JETs cannot it. (It is completely anonymous though and does not require a JET number)

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