TELL (formerly Tokyo English Life Line) this week marks its 40th anniversary with a major new campaign that reflects the organization’s evolving role and broader outreach. TELL “Forty for the Future” aims to raise 40 million yen between April 2013 and March 2014, to ensure that TELL can continue to provide world-class, effective support and counseling services in the years to come.
Donations to TELL “Forty for the Future” will be tax deductible in Japan as a result of TELL’s newly acquired status as a certified nintei non-profit organization (NPO). TELL is one of a select number of organizations to receive this designation; as of late March, only 389 of an estimated 47,300 NPOs nationwide had achieved nintei status.
TELL’s 40th anniversary highlights the continued evolution of a broader mandate for the organization, which was established in 1973 as Tokyo English Life Line, an English-language counterpart to Inochi no Denwa. Forty years on, TELL has evolved to provide services extending far beyond its original mandate. TELL’s staff speak multiple languages, work with individuals and groups across Japan, and offer a variety of services such as professional face-to-face counseling and community outreach programs, in addition to the English-language Lifeline.
The past few years have also seen an increasing need for TELL’s services in the Japanese community. Jason Chare, Executive Officer and Director, TELL Lifeline, said: “Of the more than 6,000 calls we field annually, approximately two-thirds now come from Japanese nationals who need support readjusting to Japan after living or working overseas, as well as those in intercultural relationships. As TELL’s services expand to meet the changing needs of the community, our brand must change to reflect who we are as an organization.”
Beginning today, the organization will be known simply as TELL, and will adopt a new logo that reflects its evolving mission. Designed by McCann Healthcare, the logo features a modern typeface and a paper airplane launched to new heights to reflect a spirit of optimism that can only be achieved through mental health and wellbeing.
Moving Toward the Future
TELL Lifeline has responded to approximately 200,000 calls to date, while TELL Counseling has provided professional counseling to over 6,500 people since its establishment in 1991, and now takes in over 300 new counseling cases each year, in addition to conducting specialized testing programs.
The demand for TELL’s services continues to increase as more and more Japanese nationals reach out for support. A recent Japanese government survey found that one in four adults in Japan has contemplated committing suicide, with young people more prone to such thoughts than others.
According to the National Police Agency, in 2012, suicides fell below 30,000 for the first time in 15 years. While these lower numbers suggest that some progress is being made, Japan’s suicide rate remains one of the highest in the world.
Linda Semlitz, M.D., Executive Officer and Clinical Director, TELL Counseling, said: “TELL’s work over the past 40 years has blazed a trail for mental health awareness in Japan. We have supported Japan’s international community through professional counseling, child protection outreach, exceptional parenting workshops, suicide prevention, and disaster response. As we celebrate 40 years of saving lives and making Japan more resilient, we must also look to the future and to the work that remains to be done. We hope the community will donate generously to our ‘Forty for the Future’ campaign to ensure that TELL can continue to provide these important services as long as a need exists.”