Listening to end loneliness in Japan
This story contains a reference to suicide.
“In Japan, they say men should be strong. It’s a sign of weakness to rely on anyone.
Koki Ozora suffered from depression as a child.
Years later, after emerging from her deep depression and now understanding firsthand the lack of available services, Koki, 22, launched a chat counseling platform for others considering suicide.
“We have over 600 volunteers in 25 countries. They can speak Japanese natively. That’s why we can open 24/7.
Mira was one such case.
“Depression hits me every month and when it hits I lie in bed for several days with a strong desire to kill myself.”
Mira received support through Anata no Ibasho.
Mira had been struggling with depression for a long time when she contacted Anata no Ibasho.
“I wanted to get away from it all and die.”
Anata no Ibasho has more than 600 volunteers in 25 countries.
Reaching out to Anata no Ibasho gave him hope.
“The answer touched my heart and I was able to calm down. I now feel a little better.
A national response
Koki assessed her personal exchanges, relevant data, and extensive research by experts in the field and identified a root cause: loneliness.
Koki Ozora has lobbied the Japanese government to do more to support people struggling with mental health issues.
“We proposed to the government to have a Minister for Solitude and Social Isolation,” explains Koki.
According to Japan’s National Police Agency, in the first 6 months of 2022, Japan’s loneliness and suicide prevention programs like Anata no Ibasho are said to have reduced suicides by 3.7%, saving 338 lives.
It is hoped that loneliness and suicide prevention programs like Anata no Ibasho will help reduce the suicide rate in Japan.
Koki says listening and offering support can mean the difference between life and death.